Album Review

NewDad - Madra

No doubt these songs will triumph when performed live, but as a record, ‘Madra’ isn’t quite it.

NewDad - Madra

With a year between EPs and now almost two since then before this full-length debut hits shelves, Galway outfit NewDad are clearly ones to take their time. The initial buzz surrounding them, then, is long gone, but what of their airy, nostalgic and delicately-layered shoegaze? Well, it’s a shame that ‘Madra’ is so back-loaded: it’s only until ‘Let Go’ crashes into life via a heady contrast of Julie Dawson’s breathy vocal and discordant guitars, ‘White Ribbons’ cocoons her delicate murmur and the closing title track climaxes in the most gorgeously obtuse manner, that the qualities which made the then-newcomers stand out shine through. For the most part, it’s instead a case of either too much, or not enough. By stripping the layers back and presenting the songs in a wholly straightforward manner - slick, with Julie’s voice centered as if she’s embarking on a perfect three-minute pop song - flaws appear where they shouldn’t exist. The choruses of ‘In My Head’ and ‘Sickly Sweet’ appear to hint at Beabadoobee’s breezy grunge-pop, but only step up half-heartedly, while ‘Where I Go’ comes off long-winded and one-note, and opener ‘Angel’ might suggest Wolf Alice’s more wistful side, but unlike their predecessors, there’s no contrast anywhere for it to rally against. No doubt these songs will triumph when performed live, but as a record, ‘Madra’ isn’t quite it.

Tags: NewDad, Neu, Reviews, Album Reviews

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