Album Reviews: Lead Us to Reason by The Black MariaOne of a new breed of bands reaching more fans via MySpace than through traditional marketing tools, The Black Maria sounds credibly indie and grassroots without sacrificing the whiff of popular potential. Not even remotely wimpy, The Black Maria reminds listeners of the direct link between emo and metal that At the Drive-In was so capable of conveying. With catchy hooks, crisp production, and an emotive singer, this band is made for alternative radio.
That said, it’s kind of hard to distinguish The Black Maria from pieces of Gratitude or the darker points of Taking Back Sunday or Jimmy Eat World. You’ll even here a bit of Pinback in the vocal harmonies. Compelling as you may find any of this, the music is not ultimately very unique or free of the shadow of its influences.
Of course, this is The Black Maria’s first album and it shows a lot of potential, particularly for a band so young. Anyone interested in heavy, moody pop-punk will appreciate the album, and watching this band evolve will be worth the effort. Lead Us to Reason is not at all a bad start. - Cory O'Malley
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