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Devils & Angels

Mêlée

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Album Review

A name like Mêlée — with all its complicated diacritics, with its suggestion of violence — suggests that this Orange County quartet is standard-issue modern punk, perhaps even being a band that tends toward the harder, brutal side of things. Names can be deceiving, however, since their 2007 major-label debut, Devils & Angels, is something entirely unexpected: a genuine pop album, one that's informed by new wave but winds up sounding like a good rock record from 1985. Much of this sounds learned second-hand from Ben Folds but Mêlée is notably lacking in Folds' perma-smirk. Even the cover of Hall & Oates' classic "You Make My Dreams" is done sans irony: unlike many punk covers, this is a celebration of song, not cheese. If Chris Cron, like many of his peers, has a voice that's a bit too thin to be memorably on its own accord, it works well with the band's exuberant feel and it delivers the hooks simply and cleanly. Plus, they have a way with hooks, particularly on the exhilarating "Frequently Baby (She's a Teenager Maniac)," which would be a smash at any time there was either pop radio or MTV. It may be the best moment here, but the rest of Devils & Angels proves that it's no fluke as it showcases the rare punk-pop band that places a greater emphasis on pop than punk to often addictive results.

Customer Reviews

Mêlée - Pure Pop Punk Brilliance!

I saw this band support The Rocket Summer on tour and on the stage I was amazed how their songs were full of great punk pop hooks and how they had so much energy when they were playing! So I brought this album and gee am I impressed! The songs on the album are also full of energy and punk pop hooks, which really sum up the whole band. Some album highlights include the great single 'Build To Last', the amazing anthem that everyone loved on tour Frequently Baby, the fantastic song with a beat 'Imitation', the ballad of the album 'She's Gonna Find Me Here', my personally fav and full of pop punk hooks 'You Got' and the fabulous song to close the album 'Stand Up'! This album truely is a must have for 2008 and would appeal to any rock or pop lover espescially fans of McFly, Keane or The Rocket Summer! Literally AMAZING!

absolute genius

this album is one of the best things ive ever had the pleasure of hearing. my main musical taste is metal....be it heavy or brutal lol. but this somehow has made me thing again. truely brilliant

Melee - for lovers of Keane and AOR

This album has been out for over a year but was taken off i-tunes and repackaged. I loved the old album cover and wrote a review about this time last year. Since then Melee have gained airplay and hits all over Europe and you can see why. Pure power pop, uplifting piano, solid song writing and stadium rock. With the right airplay Can't Hold On (the big rock ballad) should be a top 3 hit, it has classic AOR guitar breaks and a great uplifting choral ending that makes you want to turn your player to full volume. "For a lifetime" seems like the perfect second radio single and would gain on the grounds of the lovely "Built to Last". All songs have a very uplifting feel, soaring vocals and a rock solid production. The album is very consitent with very little let downs so if you have heard the current single then this purchase is a must. "Frequently Baby" is great Summer anthem, with pace and Elton John style piano. I have played this CD for over a year and it it is one of my favourites ever. A deserved success for Melee - catch them live in the UK soon.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Orange County, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Pianos and a melodic sense greater than the usual punk-pop thrill set Orange County's Mêlée apart from their peers. Chris Cron (vocals/guitar), Rick Sanberg (guitar), Ryan Malloy (bass), and Mike Nader (drums) formed the band in 1999 while still in their teens, and eventually signed with the Hopeless Records affiliate Sub City. While elements of punk revivalism and emo tinged the ends of Against the Tide, the quartet's debut for the label, Mêlée is much closer to the songwriting-driven modern rock...
Full bio
Devils & Angels, Mêlée
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  • £8.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Alternative, Indie Rock, Punk
  • Released: 03 April 2007

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