Adelade: Left Left

adelade, left leftAdelade: Left Left
Sometimes you can listen to an album and not be sure of exactly why you like it. Then there are times when you can pinpoint exactly why you don’t like an album. In the case of Adelade’s debut mini-album, Left Left, the vocals are doing nothing for me. To quote their song “Ext. Ext.,” “I don’t like it.” Now repeat that in a whiney voice twelve times. There you have the second half of the song. It reminded me of babysitting picky eaters who would cry that that didn’t like the dinner their parents left for them. The singer has an accent I couldn’t place, especially when he sings “lay your good hands down on me” in “Bleach.”  My notes questioned whether it was southern or similar to that of Silverchair’s Daniel Johns; I figured the Australian connection made sense with a band named Adelade (figuring they misspelled it on purpose,) but it turns out they’re from Vancouver, Canada. Guess the singer was just going for twang? The vocals are gritty and at times indistinguishable, which they should be on a post-grunge album, but my problem was how nasally and whiney they came off as they repeated lyrics a little too often.

I can’t be completely negative, if you take away the vocals, I love this album. This was the first album that I wished I’d find an instrumental track on. It’s a mixture of post-grunge and country that works well. A harmonica fits right in on the very country “Southern State.” “Ext. Ext” has enough energy that it sounds like it would fit right in being played over loudspeakers in between periods at a hockey game to get the crowd and players pumped. Distortion and feedback mix perfectly into the grungy sound. “You Hold A Map” is peppy and the vocals stay low enough that it’s one of the better songs on the six-song album. “Ain’t No Sun” starts low, mysterious, and seductive, threatening to build at any moment. It works well with the low vocals at the beginning, then it loses me when the singer gets a little louder and holds some longer notes in the verses. The song redeems itself in the chorus and instrumental breaks.

I think this band has great potential, the music and arrangement is there. The instrumentals build well, there is the perfect mix of genres and influences, and the musical skills are present. However, I just can’t stand those vocals. From the little information I could find on the four-man group, I learned that the band is currently on hiatus with no word on whether they’ll return at all as each of the members is working on other projects so we may never see what else they can come up with.
Rating: 6.5/10
MP3: Adelade “Ain’t No Sun”
Buy: iTunes