Album Reviews

EP Review: Makari – Transient

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Record Label: InVogue Records

Release Date: 27.03.2020

For Fans Of: I The Mighty, Dance Gavin Dance, WVNDER

Breaking ground and bursting onto the scene, this Orlando five-piece have given us their unique take on alternative/atmospheric rock, full of dynamic beats and contagious melodies.

With their debut album and new front-man/singer Andy Cizek, Makari‘s sound sits comfortably to what many may playfully identify as swancore, a sub-genre initially sparked by Dance Gavin Dance. The association to this specific genre, however, didn’t stop them from developing their own sound identity in the progressive/alternative rock scene, utilising subtle fretboard shredding with progressive aspects, while still focusing on simpler song structures to let their strong aptitude for melody, ambiance and emotion emerge through their songs. It’s been almost two years since their debut album, but we finally get to hear more of the band with the release of their new EP – Makari’s Alternate EP consist of acoustic versions of a few select songs off of their debut album Hyperreal

Stripping the original songs from the majority of their signature synth-like electric guitar atmospherics, the acoustic renditions manage to convey more than just that. Although the band did a great job on the album showcasing every member’s talent and skills, the acoustics on the EP really allow Andy’s vocals to stand out, leaving more room for the emotion and lyrics to clearly be conveyed and shine through.

Transient‘ was the original choice for the lead single off of their debut album, tapping into just enough pop-rock influence to have memorable hooks and riffs, without losing its swancore essence. Even though the band toned down their amplified guitars and bass, along with their driving drum beats, this is definitely a great choice for the opening song of the EP – it has all the best elements of what the band want to showcase and still packs a punch. The track list is just the right picks of songs that introduce the overall character of the album, with its original themes running through what the EP has to give. 

Without being overpowering, subtle hints of their electronic atmospherics dress the meticulous guitar play, while still keeping the songs ethereal at their core. Due to the use of these electronic amplifications, however, the acoustic versions of the first four tracks of the EP couldn’t be classified as truly acoustic, but rather as versions with simpler instrumentation in comparison to the original tracks.

We then dive into ‘Better’ and ‘Control’, which are actually stripped down and acoustic, and really tap into the rawness that Makari have to showcase through these live recordings. The closing song of the EP is the Kennecom Remix version of ‘Control’ – This version of ‘Control‘ offers a break from the overall wistful sound of the EP, giving more electronic elements and energised vibes in comparison to the rest of the acoustic renditions. However, it might have been a better choice to select a different song to be remixed, where the band can still experiment with their mixing and production, without repeating the same song twice, one after the other nonetheless. 

The Alternate EP conveys a taste of a fuller spectrum to what Makari have to offer. They have a true sense of energy about them flowing through their tracks, combining an almost poetic quality to their melodies, lyrics and emotion, immersing the listener to the experience. 

Rating: 8.5/10

Recommended Tracks: ‘Transient’, ‘Melt’, ‘Better’

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