Berkley, CA’s Sarchasm and Knoxville, TS’s Bad Idols have come together on the Splits & Ladders split album that features…
Tickle Me Pink – Madeline
Tickle Me Pink
Madeline - Wind-Up Records
My first introduction to Tickle Me Pink was a live video for their single, Typical. The video, which was on YouTube of course, saw the band playing to a sold out crowd somewhere and everyone in the crowd was enthusiastically singing along. This was surprising since I had never heard of the band before, yet there they were selling out some venue; but the truth was this: I didn’t watch the entire video. In fact, I stopped it after a whopping twenty or thirty seconds. It was painful to sit through which made it all the more surprising that the venue was sold out. Sadly, Madeline is no different and Tickle Me Pink‘s debut ultimately becomes quite bland, boring and immensely forgettable.
You see, there’s nothing of note or real quality amidst the eleven songs that make up Madeline. What it is, in a nutshell, is generic emo-pop. Being equal parts Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and equal partsMatchbox 20, Tickle Me Pink rides the line of acceptable, radio friendly power pop. The record becomes very repetitive and predictable, each song is writen in the same format and never throws any sort of curve ball at you. What you hear at first is the same thing all the way through and never once do they fill it up with any semblance of intensity or emotion. Musically, they’re talented enough but there’s nothing to make them stand out amongst the crop of Hopeless or Fearless Records bands other than them being a tad more radio-centered.
Madeline‘s does have two saving graces within it. First is the vocalist. While yes, it can become irksome after a while as the falsetto tries for a mixture between All Time Low/Dashboard Confessional andRed Jumpsuit Apparatus, there are a few moments where he leaves the squeakiness and goes for something with a bit more power – I’m thinking of Typical and certain moments of We’re Not Alone. Those songs have slight glimpses of vocal substance which are able to keep the songs afloat for a bit longer than most of the others on the record.
The second saving grace is the diversity within the album. There’s some slightly heavier tracks, like the two previously mentioned, along with some slower cuts such as The Answer. We Still Dance has a great upstroke melody and the title track slowly builds up around itself. And yes, before you ask, there is the obligatory acoustic sampler with Beside The Others. But even that diversity isn’t able to fully save the album because it’s still somewhat predictable. The only moment which came out of nowhere was the upstroke on We Still Dance, every other aspect sounds like it was made for a radio pop-emo release.Madeline is even a song about suicide which feverishly points out similarities to Between The Trees and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus‘ lead singles
To put it frankly, Madeline is not a good release. The record has no ingenuity and nothing of note as it is generic, bland and sometimes painful to listen to. Even if you do like it now, you’ll forget about it within a month’s time to move onto the next flavour of the month.