For a band that I was completely ready to hate, I have to say that Mêlée, with their specific brand of indie power pop (landing firmly on the emotional side) have actually found themselves a spot in this soulless reviewers heart. Theirs is the type of music that can really appeal to, and be enjoyed by anyone. It's not particularly ground breaking, not particularly insightful, but it isn't trying to be. Nor does it have to be in order to be deemed good. It's not all the way emo, but it's not all the way punk either. The notes, and rhythms pull at those vacant heartstrings of ours and have the audacity to attempt at invoking that tearful catharsis we both know will never happen. You have to give them points for trying though.
On their new LP, "Everyday Behavior", Mêlée find some sort of acceptable meeting point between artistic credibility and emotional capitalism. They seamlessly incorporate the blissful use of piano into their already seemingly melodramatic arsenal, offsetting the emoting in a surprisingly affective way.
Sure, some of the subject matter is a tad too familiar, and almost manufactured. The arrangements seem to become predictable fairly early on. However, the music here is actually a little more sophisticated than one would think, or maybe even a little more than it lets on. Not to mention that lead singer Chris's pitch perfect stylings give the band it's deliciously troublesome, yet soothing lyrical and vocal presence.
On songs like "Perfect Mess" and, "Got It All", you can see shadows of the pop mindsets held by groups like Ben Folds 5, or Weezer which is one of the better compliments that I can pay this band. They have song writing capabilities that suggest they are far older and seasoned than they actually are. This makes the album, despite it's obvious imperfections, a shockingly positive experience.
"Everyday Behavior" is not a great album, but it is a good album. Mêlée seems to provide a genuine compassion and humanity to counter soulless cash cows like Jimmy Eat World or hacks like Something Corporate. Is the end result a perfect album? Well, I guess, ultimately, that's up to you. But, like I said, you have to give them points for trying.