Map of the Universe
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Map of the Universe

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Curse In Reverse (Evil Sponge)"

Recording: Curse In Reverse

Artist: Map of the Universe
Label: Sound Nutrition Records

Release Date: September.2007

Reviewed by: PostLibyan

Rating: Five Sponges

Review: Map of the Universe are a rock trio from Miami, FL. Even though Miami is a huge city, you just don't hear a lot of bands coming from down there. I guess when you can just sit on the beach with a beer and pass the time, making music is not such a priority.

Now, astute readers will note that a few years back we reviewed another Miami rock band by the name of Bling Bling. Well, take Bling Bling, lose their rhythm section, move one member over to drums, add a new bassist, and you have Map of the Universe. Same band, essentially. Ivan Marchena is the principal songwriter in both acts, so if you enjoyed what he was doing in Bling Bling, chances are you will enjoy this.

There are four songs here. Let's examine each.

The EP starts off with The Cop which is a nice post-punk tune. This will appeal to all those Interpol/Editors/Gang of Four fans out there. It grinds along well enough, and is a decent tune, if somewhat normal for this resurgent genre.

The second track is called Plastic From Beauty, and for my money this is the real winner here. The drums are flat and thudding, the bass thumps heavily, and the guitar is all treble. Then, on the choruses, Marchena stomps on his chorus pedal, and for a few glorious moments Map of the Universe channel the early work of The Church. All that, and the song itself is really catchy too, especially with Marchena chanting "I'm not thinking, I'm not thinking". This is toe-tappingly good.

Animal Peace is punkier, with more distortion, and vocals that remind me of early Television. It positively tears along at a breakneck pace. I bet this is really good live.

Finally, the EP ends with Social Royal, which is a slower song. This is almost garage rock a la Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The bass and guitar are sludgy, and the voice is just slightly echoed. Nice enough, but not my favorite on the EP.

If there is one criticism i have, it is that the production treads awfully close to lo-fi. Not like, say, the first Smog record, but more like that sound that Superchunk and Archers of Loaf had on their first releases, where the guitars were a little too loud and feedbacky, and the voices were kind of buried in the mix. Now, i happen to have a real soft spot for that sort of stuff, and i think that the songs that Map of the Universe present here are strong enough to shine through the weaker production work. Still, i know that not everyone likes that, and that many listeners will be put off.

Overall, this is a promising debut. Except it's not really their debut, even if it is their first release under this name. Either way -- a fine job. Now, guys, when are you going to make the long trek up to Atlanta?


"Pick of the Week"

Saturday Nov 26th

When Miami's Pixies-loving indie stalwarts Bling Bling hit the splits this past June, it was more of a regrouping than a rock 'n' roll retirement. Not a month passed before drummer Ed Artigas and guitarist/vocalist Ivan Marchena formed Map of the Universe with Johnny Calderin (their bandmate from yet another project, Zira). But with Artigas switching to bass, his and Marchena's music has taken a different approach one that brings to mind the dark minimalism of Joy Division. "We really like the way the songs are coming together," Artigas says. "It's a little darker and rocks a little harder than before." But Map's sound isn't too dark; otherwise, the guys wouldn't be covering the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" in their live set. Map of the Universe brings a touch of Manchester to South Florida tonight at Dada (52 Swinton Ave., Delray Beach). The free show starts at 10 p.m. Call 561-330-DADA. (JB)
- Broward New times 11/24/2005

"Map of the Universe"

Map of the Universe
By Abel Folgar
Published: February 2, 2006

performs Saturday, February 4, at Transit Lounge, 729 SW 1st Ave, Miami. Admission is free. Doors open at 10:00 p.m. For more information, call 305-377-4628.
Subject(s): Map of the Universe Ed Artigas is restless and relentless. When the Miami musician isn't hunting down beautiful women to rep power-pop bands, he's working on his record label, Spy-Fi Records. And after beloved indie rockers Bling-Bling split up last year, Artigas wasted no time in moving on to the next project, the shoegazing pop rock of Map of the Universe. This band promises to follow in the fine tradition of local rockers and play its inaugural show gratis at the secretive and hip Transit Lounge. This is just the beginning of their assault plan for 2006. An EP is tentatively scheduled to be released on local label New Art School Records as well as appear on upstart label In 3rds Records' upcoming compilation album. - Miami NewTimes

"Tour Launch"

Map of the Universe
Wed Nov 7 (9pm)
Studio A (60 NE 11th St, 305.358.7625) map
Event Info

One of the older and more original local acts on the scene, adventurous rock outfit Map of the Universe is setting out on tour across Florida in support of its new EP Curse in Reverse. The little swamp hop will find the guys offloading their mix of socially aware post-punk and California skate rock — that somehow always adds up to more than the sum of its parts — in cities such as St. Petersburg, Gainesville, and Sarasota. Tonight, they kick off their quest for Florida domination. - Benton Galgay - Flavorpill

"Sound Byte Review"

Map of the Universe,
"Curse in Reverse"
Contributed by Creaig Dunton
Sunday, 20 January 2008

While this review may seem a bit out of context to most Brainwashed readers, a closer listen to the seemingly pop elements of this demo reveal a greater depth, indicating the potential for great things.

On the surface, Map of the Universe seem perched in an early position for the inevitable 1990s revival that is sure to begin any day now. Across these 10 minutes they certainly do remind me of a great deal of the alt-rock scene once documented well on 120 Minutes. There's a more experimental, dissonant undercurrent to most of these tracks that put them in league with the likes of Spacemen 3 or Loop as opposed to the Breeders or Belly. There are some obvious nods to the 1970s punk sound as well, both "The Cop" and "Animal Peace" have that early Ramones sing-a-long chorus vibe to them, around rapid fire verses. Luckily they stay much more faithful to the roots of punk than the bands who came along in the '90s doing the same thing that most of us would prefer to forget. The two slower tracks are more apt to demonstrate this noiser side of things though. "Plastic Form Beauty" moves along at a calmer, more bass driven pace, with a seething bed of noisy guitar that's more Robert Hampson or Sonic Boom than any other forgettable 1990s guitarist. The closer, "Social Royal" is a particular high point for me, as the greater sheen of distortion, coupled with the pacing, apes classic Sonic Youth in a somewhat more accessible way.

It's not an insult to consider Map of the Universe a pop band, because that's what they are. But more in a classic, song oriented sense instead of a commercial entity one. The more dissonant elements are supposed to form the foundation of their next EP, which will probably be even more interesting. It is not going to rock your world, but this little EP will surely give a nice, warm, nostaligic feeling. Brainwashed -

"Map of the Universe"

Map of the Universe
By Arielle Castillo
Published: January 24, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen, this local trio is floating in space. Its tripped-out sound is a rare, galactic union of Pavement-style power-chord grit, hooky postpunk, and cerebral, swirly shoegaze. Although the band formed in 2005, the members each boast a Miami rock pedigree. Vocalist/guitarist Ivan Marchena and drummer Ed Artigas previously played together as part of indie outfit Bling Bling. Despite its unfortunate name, that band performed regularly around town, and its two full-length albums garnered some critical kudos (including a couple of New Times "Best of Miami" appearances, in 2003 for Best Indie Band and in 2005 for Best Male Rock Vocals). Original Map of the Universe drummer Johnny Calderin split last year, but his replacement, Mike Alen, played bass for Nineties scenesters Secret Service and Nobuhjest. To celebrate the new lineup, the band released an EP, Curse in Reverse, this past September. It's a four-song snack that channels everyone from Richard Hell to Kevin Shields to Thurston Moore, and still works — really works. We're officially putting in a rush order for the debut LP.

- Miami New Times

"Curse in Reverse"

Map of the Universe
Curse in Reverse (Spy-Fi/Sound Nutrition Records)
By Abel Folgar
Published: December 13, 2007
Published: December 27, 2007

Subject(s): Curse in Reverse, tropical power-pop speedball

Local band, Map of the Universe, hit the South Florida scene in late 2005, after Ed Artigas and Ivan Marchena's band (acclaimed local act Bling Bling) called it quits. Along with drummer Johnny Calderin, they started gigging all over the tri-county area, spreading some righteous hooks and melodies while releasing two singles in 2006. But then in early 2007, they did what a lot of bands do. They took time off. Many thought of that as a load of suck. However, these guys are proving that they won't stay quiet for too long. With Calderin's departure from the band, Artigas moved to drums, making space for bassist Mike Alen (formerly of Secret Service and Nobuhjest) to join the group and keep this three-piece alive and tight. On their latest EP, Curse in Reverse, Ivan's guitar work continues to find the balance of post-punk and California dreaming that makes them accessible beyond the shoegaze crowd. Consider it a tropical power-pop speedball. The disc's opening track, "The Cop," is a sinister little swamp punk number a la Cramps and the Buzzcocks, keeping things dirty and fun. They switch gears a bit with the somber, but still rocking, "Plastic Form Beauty" which has great echo-y guitar parts and a chunky rhythm section. "Animal Peace" revs 'em back up to more metallic surf punk areas without sacrificing Ivan's great vocal work: rough-edged sweetness. They close the EP with the tune "Social Royal," which sounds like a slow, sludgy, train rolling through rock 'n' roll city. Naturally, we can all look forward to a full length. - Broward/MIAMI New Times


"Curse in Reverse" 4 song e.p.
Spy-fi/Sound Nutrition

"It's a four-song snack that channels everyone from Richard Hell to Kevin Shields to Thurston Moore, and still works — really works. We're officially putting in a rush order for the debut LP. "
- Arielle Castillo Miami NewTimes



Re-formed in the spring of 2007 Map of the Universe is a driving three piece with catchy hooks and short rocking songs. Influences include punk, post punk, indie pop, shoegaze, classic rock and parts unknown.

Ivan Marchena (Vocals, Guitar) and Ed Artigas (Drums) have played together for last six years with indie rock bands Bling Bling and Map of the Universe. Bling Bling had released two cds nationally, received great local press, and two awards from The Miami New Times (Best Indie Band, and Best Male Rock Vocals for Ivan), as well as playing festivals (Citylink Musicfest, Street Buzz), and venues all over South Florida.

The reformation of Map of the Universe, found Ed leaving the bass, returning to drums and the addition of Miami scene veteran Michael Alen (Secret Service) on bass. The trio is starting to play all the local hot spots (Da Da, Circa 28, Billabong Pub, PS14, Revolution, The Poor House, and Churchill's Hideaway) while releasing a four song ep.

November 7th-10th 2007
Map of the Universe release e.p. and scouts Florida on a
four day mini tour in support of the e.p. check Calendar for details.