Melodram
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Melodram

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The best kept secret in music

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"Soundcheck"

This trio has a huge history behind the release of their self-titled first album. After two years of being shelved, this album proves that Melodram is one of the area’s best-kept secrets. There is so much diversity to this album, it is just amazing. The raw sound gives certain tracks an eccentric sound like no other. There is a great harmonization between the lead vocals and backup vocals. Melodram is able to deliver great, delicate-sounding tracks as well, such as “Air of Silence,” which really demonstrates singer/guitarist Dave Mikutas choral talent. It is a really great track. A unique sounding EP indeed.

Jessica Morgan

- www.soundcheckmag.net (July/Aug. 2004)


"StonerRock"

Melodram are a three-piece outfit hailing from Northampton, Massachusetts, featuring Dave Mikuta on guitar and vocals, Brian Oakes on bass, and Bob Ostrowski on drums. They came to be, in their current line-up, in February of 2003. And although still in their relative infancy, Melodram sound poised to make a strong impact on the heavy music scene of Massachusetts and greater New England.

Melodram’s vocals remind me of a serrated blend of mostly Mike Patton and some Tobias Nilsson (Blind Dog). However, Dave Mikuta is also very capable with his grasp of harmony. To go from the guttural verse to the minor-harmony chorus sensibility and I’m there every time. It’s the earned relief, the light, after the dark tunnel.

“Diatribe” has a nice Alice in Chains-flavored choral harmony that roped me in immediately. “Transmissionary” is another heavy melodious number and that, along with “Air of Silence,” are probably my favorite tracks on this demo. The latter is their single acoustic number and it’s some tasteful work, bros. There’s this dreamy “Santo and Johnny”-style guitar in the background harkening to a different time. This is undeniably their “Space Cadet,” if you will. Generally there’s not the oh-so standard fuzz on the guitar, but a warmth to the tone which spreads over you like a thick, tasty jam. Deep, interesting textures happening, some world-music flavored percussive elements.

A definite Faith No More influence abounds, but more grounded in a specific direction than too far all over the place. It’s not desert, doom, hard-core, just aggressive rock n’ roll. They fuse multiple sources, touches of Alice in Chains, Faith No More, Helmet, and early ‘90’s heavy alt-rock. They’re skilled, these fellas. I really enjoyed this EP, and it’s going to get played again around here.

Scrit

- www.stonerrock.com (July 2004)


"Melodram Goes Loco"

Not much has changed with local rock trio Melodram since we last wrote about them in January.
They still have no form of management -- certainly not a label affiliation. Not even a booking agent.

But they continue to land some of the best gigs the area has to offer. For example, this Sunday, Sept. 26, the Melo-fellows will represent western Massachusetts at this year's Locobazooka concert at Fitchburg Municipal Airport. Among the acts they'll be sharing the stage with that day are Saliva , Shinedown , Tesla and Monster Magnet , not to mention hometown heroes Shadows Fall and All That Remains .

"This is a milestone for us, for sure," declares singer/guitarist Dave Mikuta. "But what a way to celebrate our 50th show!"

In the interest of full disclosure, Mikuta adds that he has actually been acquainted with the show's promoter, Dan Hartwell, for several years now.

"Still, we had to submit our info just like thousands of others did," he says. "Now that we were selected, we have to show what we can do live and make a good showing."

As a means to that end, Melodram is looking to drum up some excitement -- and attendees -- with an official Locobazooka Pre-Party this Friday, Sept. 24 at The Cabot Street Pub in Chicopee.

In addition to some of the best rock the Valley has to offer (including a sneak peak at some new tunes the band plans to record in October), Mikuta and company will be offering discounted, last chance Locobazooka tickets and free CDs to entice fans into making the trek.

Gary Carra




- Valley Advocate (Sept. 23, 2004)


"Pigeonholed"


When asked to describe his band's sound Dave Mikuta, the guitarist and vocalist for the Northampton, Mass.-based power trio Melodram , says he finds it hard to put his band into any sort of narrow category. The refusal to be pigeonholed is one of the interesting traits about the music he and his band plays. "We're hard to categorize," says Mikuta. "We have that heaviness, but there's also a shot of tasteful melody. The songs all have different influences. There are quirky alt-rock parts, along with prog and some heavy stuff going on."
Judging from the band's performance at Michel Angelo's last Saturday, which just happened to be their first in the state, it's easy to see where Mikuta is coming from. While the band definitely can pound away like primo Sabbath, they also have an inherent grasp of melody, and the ability to throw in an odd time change every now and then, to keep the listener on their toes. It's a loud and confident sound, one that doesn't skimp on rock power or tunefulness.

They opened with the head banging heavy rock of "Diatribe," which featured some nice thick, meaty and slightly scuzzed-out riffs from Mikuta and some propulsive playing from the rhythm section of drummer Bob Ostrowski and bassist Brian Oakes. From there, the band continued to build on their foundation of rock-solid heavy rock by throwing in a few musical curveballs.

"Soothsayer" merged the speed of punk with the power groove of stoner rock to great effect. While "Emissary" was a nice mixture of quiet and loud dynamics that built to a false ending followed by a ripping coda from Mikuta. "Idol Of The Flys" was a muscular rock workout, all rip-snorting heavy riffs and attitude that burst from the speakers, while "All Eyes Glowing" ended the set on a good, and slightly spacey note.

While the band can be hard to categorize, I do think that Melodram definitely falls under the loud rock banner. But that just might be splitting hairs, because after all, there are only two really important categories of music -- good and bad -- and Melodram definitely falls into the former.

Thomas Pizzola


- Hartford Advocate (April 29, 2004)


"Dirty Little Secret"


If all the area bands that broke onto the scene one year ago were issued a report card for their achievements to date, Melodram would probably find theirs displayed on some proud parent's fridge.
For starters, they have one of the tightest recorded products of the past 365 days in their self-titled, six-tune EP. It's chock full of brutal sonic riffs, off-kilter syncopation, time changes and dark, droning melodies, and was produced by none other than Adam Dutkiewicz (of Killswitch Engage, a band whose own recent highlights include slots on last year's Ozzfest and MTV's "Headbanger's Ball Tour" respectively).

On the live side, Melodram seems to have made an end run around the customary growing pains associated with "building a fan base" and in turn getting the good gigs. From day one, this Noho-based power trio has found its way onto the most coveted stages in southern New England on a regular basis. Plus, it gets invited back – a situation which, when compounded with the now-frequent invites from new venues, festivals and the like, keeps the scroll-down function on the "show" section of the band's website (www.melodram.com) in constant demand.

Surely band founder Dave Mikuta and his philosophy of "promising the moon, then delivering the goods" has something to do with this band's current success.

Another key ingredient, however, is rooted firmly in Melodram's unconventional past.

"I actually worked on these songs for several years with my friend Mick Jones (not the Mick Jones)," explains Mikuta. "We worked on it a few days a month for the longest time because we really wanted it to sound pro."

With his studio vision fully realized, Mikuta says he then began the search to find bandmates capable of pulling it off live. That quest ended on Feb. 1, 2003, when the rhythm section of Brian Oakes (bass) and Bob Ostrowski (drums) officially joined the Melodram family, but not before some two years had elapsed.

"In the meantime, the project was essentially put on the shelf," Mikuta recalls. "But once they were in, they loved the songs and we had a disc ... so we were pretty much able to pick up the ball and run with it."

On Friday, Jan. 30, look for Melodram to roll into Harry's for yet another gig sure to be the envy of rockers the region over. They will open for Transient, the new space rock side-project of Shadows Fall frontman Brian Fair.

Garry Carra

- Valley Advocate (Jan. 29, 2004)


"Daredevil Magazine"

These three guys from the US are what I call a Heavy-Rock band. With the six songs on this CD Melodram cooking their own soup and it´s a damn hot soup. Just when you thought it can´t get better Melodram is packin´ a new killer part on the top and it sounds just great. At some parts I was reminded of Alice In Chains, but in the next second it changes and the whole thing sounds like f**ing Heavy-Metal with some NuMetal inlays...KILLER. I also like the ballads on this CD...they give the listener the chance to relax and chill out, cause the ballad is followed by another hard hittin´ heavy-Rock monster. I also like the vocals a lot, cause they´re full of variety and never get boring. I would say that this is a well done CD with six good songs. Here and there I thought of leaving out a break, cause it took out the flow of the songs, but all in all this CD is pretty accessable. Good job.

Ralf Burkart

- www.daredevil.de (May 2004)


Discography

Buzz Adrenaline (2006)
Self-titled E.P. (2004)

Photos

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Bio

From the pioneer valley of Western Massachusetts comes the most indelible blueprint for all encompassing loud rock music this side of the 20th century. Melodram provides the complete hard rock experience with soul melting vocals and guitars that ooze like lava over a volcanic rhythm section. With pronounced confidence, Melodram prepare to entrance the masses with there heart-felt anthems, fuzz lit torch songs, and quirk rock madness.

From its inception as an idea, the name Melodram was coined in late 2001 when singer/guitarist/songwriter Dave Mikuta realized a studio vision with the assistance of producer Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage), of which the end result was a concrete slab of hard rock devastation known as the self-titled six song E.P. With a completed recording Mikuta began the hunt for full band armor capable of delivering the goods in a live situation. Some two years of wading through the slings and arrows of area musicians proved time consuming, but in early 2003 the raconteur rhythm section of Bob Ostrowski (drums) and Brian Oakes (bass) entered the fold. The recorded product Mikuta had was enough to have the guys sold on the idea, thus Melodram would rehearse and take the avenue of a live band. From summer ’03 to present Melodram has pounded the pavement in the New England / New York club circuit accruing fans and precision as a touring musical muscle car. Opening locally and sharing festival stages with bands as diverse as Clutch, Damage Plan, & Queens of the Stone Age, those who’ve come head on with Melodram in a live situation know full well this band has something special brewing and is primed to take it to the next level.

In 2006 Melodram released its first full-length effort as a band (Buzz Adrenaline) produced by studio wizard Mark Alan Miller (J Mascis / The Unband). The new recording is a musical odyssey of eclectic rock, anthemic assault, and lyrical esotery. Melodram have also added to the mix veteran drummer J.J. O'Connell (Spouse / New Radiant Storm King), replacing Ostrowski. The new line-up is filled with unmatched promise and a groove that's stronger than ever. Melodram have stirred their own irrevocable blend, a strange brew that could take this power trio to undaunted heights. Try some audio on for size now to begin a lifelong membership to Melodram hysteria.