NXNE Review: Mardeen, June 18, Handlebar

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Like many bands from the east coast, Cape Breton’s Mardeen display an affinity for crunchy guitars and strong melodies. It’s not a sound that’s necessarily unique to the region, but they do seem to do it so well out east. Fittingly, the band was taking part in the Halifax Pop Explosion showcase on Thursday night, on a bill which also featured The Wayo, Glory Glory, Walrus, and Vogue Dots.

The band took to the smallish stage at Handlebar and played to a fairly packed room, impressing with their melodic, poppy songcraft. Singer/bassist Matt Ellis introduced the song “DC Fan” with a speech about the existence of heroes in our world, whether it be the larger than life legends or those whose contributions take the form of simpler, more direct acts of kindness. They ended out their set with “Silver Fang,” the driving title track off their latest EP, which Ellis prefaced with a warning of sorts: “This one’ll haunt you in your dreams.” As songs go, it’s a little too upbeat to really be terribly haunting, though I will admit that the tune was stuck in my head for the rest of the night.

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Posted on by Paul in North By Northeast

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