Have you ever been glow in the dark bowling? Or maybe mini-putting? Have you ever just put down your ball, or your club, or your drink, or your shoes, stared up at the lights, and let the atmosphere surround you? Watched as the colours danced across the ceiling, as the pale green and blue star-scape on the carpet shone quietly? Mecha Maiko's Mad But Soft is kind of like that, but with better music.
Mad But Soft's layered, arpeggiated synths and mooning, faraway vocals build a dreamscape rooted in nostalgic and occasionally haunting feelings. It’s like falling asleep at the wheel of a red convertible only to wake up completely unscathed. It’s exhilaration and keen relaxation.
The album returns you to childhood on a neon electronic cloud. “Electric Heat” is reminiscent of sitting cross-legged in front of a TV playing Mortal Kombat; though the swimming vocals and modern production keep the sound relevant to today's ears. It's like Debbie Harry, TLC, and Purity Ring got together to hang out at an arcade in space. Each song's driving beat teleports you somewhere new, the droning bass in “Auto Fire” is tense and emotional contrasted against brief moments of tranquility.
It's funky, it's sad, it's calming, it's a day's worth of emotions in about an hour. Unhurried, dreamy tracks overlaying a notion of turmoil and uneasiness you can't quite place; like the title suggests, Mad But Soft.
Five Edward the Blue Engines out of a Val Kilmer Batman.