Album Review: Maps and Atlases – Beware and Be Grateful

With a full sound and head-bobbing beats, Maps and Altases are a great Indie Rock band.  Solid vocals and a variety of rock stylings make for an overall enjoyable experience.  The new album Beware and Be Grateful is a continuation of M&A’s success.  They have the kind of sound that’s easy to get lost in.  While they might draw comparisons with Coldplay or even Owl City, in reality they have a unique sound that is worthy of your time.

M&A have the kind of sound that sounds good in small venues or stadiums.  The blend of different types of “rock,” some electronic based and some guitar driven, makes for a versatile sound.  The variety of sounds will make some fans really happy, but will cause others to wonder, “so what kind of music IS this?”

The second track on the album “Fever” is the kind of jam that gets listeners to instinctively put down windows and cruise.  It’s a great song for this time of year.  The vocals on it draw the comparison with Owl City.  It’s the song from the album most likely to make it on your girlfriend’s running mix.  It’s just that kind of song.

The middle of the album, truthfully, has a few quirky songs.  They aren’t really the sing-along types.  They have strange beats and the lyrics are, at times difficult to discern.  Like above, that unpredictability will probably “make” the album for some listeners.

“Bugs” has a really intriguing beat that feeds into a strange concept.  The rapid beats and fast guitar picking create a “crawling” feeling that really works with the “Bugs” song idea.  It has an overall feeling of being a bizarre song, not really anthemic in any way, but has the old Phish feeling to it.  In fact, that might be one of the best ways to take Beware and Be Grateful like the band Phish.

While M&A aren’t really the kind of band we feature regularly, they are Indie Rock and have some really good stuff in their discography.  Their high energy sound will really appeal to some people.  We’re hoping our readers will give them a chance to judge for themselves.  If you’re here for the minimalist folk we usually feature, go ahead and click next.  But if you’re open to interesting outside-the-box Indie musical stylings, Maps and Atlases are worth a quick spin.

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