Model A

Model A

 Sacramento, California, USA

Model A is an eclectic mix of rock and electronica. With styles that vary from garage electro clash, dreamlike shoegaze psych to glitchy breakbeats and classical soundtracks. This band has no boundaries. They can do anything they want to do and make it sound unique.

Band Press

Review 1 – Side-line Music Magazine

Hailing from California, this American formation has been already active for a couple of years now. We here just get the new release, which invites us into a kind of indie-rock style. You better forget about electronics for a while and easily imagine a kind of mix between bands like Radiohead, Placebo and The Cure. Rock has been never my cup of tea, but when it all becomes a bit more poppy like, I can easily enjoy it. Well, that’s all about Model A! I really love the guitar play and the extraordinary androgen like way of singing. That’s the kind of voice that sounds directly recognizable and that’s probably what makes me think to a band like Placebo! The opening cuts “The wasted line” and “Chimera” are real cool openers while the some darker “Rest assured” shows another side of the band. They slowly evolve to more ballad like fields on “Telling” while ending in a rather ambient and psychedelic way with “Le berceau du bonheur”. This is a real pleasant listening!

Review 2 – Circle Magazine

Sacramento band Model A is loved in the California college radio scene, and now you can get a chance to check them out in their new album 'Transmission Lost'. Falsettos can have eerie effects on a reviewer - while I agree with the promo letter that there are "mind-blowing tom-tom fills", I just couldn't bear to listen to Brandon Shilling's voice without wanting to weep. It is odd, distinctively creepy, with quirky undertones of sarcasm overlaid by those banging beats. Synth and pedal heads will praise the skies, and guitar players will admire the tonal shifting. The album gives me an insane urge to crawl in a small dark hole and die miserably. The cover is beautiful, the CD itself is lovely - A+ graphic design work. Like The Scorpions, U2, and The Cure in some ways, but definitely moving in an interesting direction with this album, Model A shows a lot of promise. Good overall flow, good form boys.

Review 3 – The Bird Pages (UK)

Model A: Transmission Lost” (ModelAMusic)
To most of us over here, California seems like it could be another planet. Model A, who live there, have already decided it darn well should be. Hence their attempts to escape the earth’s gravity altogether with this set of grinding, droning space rock. Turn away now if you feel the two-minute pop song is the purest form of musical expression, or else you could just be disappointed.

Heroically unafraid of pretention and prog (hey, it never did Radiohead any harm), Model A invite us into orbit with an album that’s part shoegazing dramatics, part Iggy On Mars, and a whole lotta hurricane-swept hypnosis. There’s no time for brevity or restraint here, but plenty of space for epic oil-wheel grunging and the sort of noise freakouts not heard since everyone stopped trying to sound like My Bloody Valentine. Fold in some hefty prowling rhythms and determinedly non-rock falsetto vocals, and you’ve got something that sounds not unlike Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine” performed by Hawkwind with a shedload of effects pedals and a choirboy gone bad. Anyone else remember the late lamented Ultrasound? Here come their children, all grown up with vampire teeth.

Model A’s concentration on atmosphere rather than pop thrills makes this album a “bit of a grower”. Their sinuous songs spiral out into unexpected directions just as often as they follow the classic psych routes, and the temptation to keep leaning over and turning it up is a hard one to resist. A little more of the dreamy abstraction of closing track “Le Berceau Du Bonheur” wouldn’t go amiss, it has to be said, and the band’s evident love of technology is criminally underindulged (the sequenced sound-collage intros are some of the best bits of the songs). But this is just nit-picking: on this showing, Model A should get to work on their 20-minute epics right now. Or just don’t bother with the gaps between the songs next time. Electro Psychedelia is a great idea still yet to be properly realised, but this could just be the band to crack it.

Review 4 – Mundane Sounds

The first moments of "The Wasted Line" on Model A's debut record, Transmission Lost had me thinking that I was about to face some heavy-duty metal. With an overwhelming laser-cannon firing sound effect that gives rise to a rumbling bassline, it was easy for me to assume that I was about to be knocked down by some massive heavy metal thunder. It's quite obvious that these guys have got some chops, and just from these first few seconds, it becomes painfully clear that the guys in Model A are about to pummel me.

The minute the vocals kick in, I realize that my assessment wasn't that far off. At the three minute mark, I realize that though I'm listening to metal, it's a metal that's infused with a great deal of Prog. Of course, this is due to the fact that the lead singer has a sweet, angelic falsetto that instantly reminds of Rush's Geddy Lee. The song is grand, sweeping and emotionally powerful, and after one listen, I'm spent. It's a most powerful seven minutes, and not one minute is wasted. But, see, there's a problem--that's just the first epic of the record. (All but two of these songs break the five minute mark.) The next song, "Chimera," is more of the same and clocks in at eight minutes, but unlike the first track, Model A ambles on with a calmer pulse and even sweeter singing. The rest of Transmission Lost follows this very basic formula of loud rock meets calming sheets of sound meets loud bursts of noise meets even softer bursts of singing.

What makes this enjoyable little record a little bit frustrating is that the band goes from formulaic to to mindblowing constantly, and just when I think I'm about to be bored with hearing something I've just heard a few times already and something terribly cliche, they break out with something new, something calming, something unexpected, and my ears perk up. Just when I think I'm about to write them off as doing the Rush thing, they slow it down and give something that's more poppy, and just when I think they've got a sweet tooth for pop, they turn around and dive further into the prog-rock groove, and then they turn around and give a blend that's all of these things and more--and when you reach "Telling" and "Le Berceau du Bonheur," they throw all of those styles away and go for a sound that's indebted to 4ad circa 1986!

Confusing? It is a little bit, yes, but I really don't mind. Though their search for a sound they can call their own might make for frustrating reviewing, that doesn't take away from the fact that Transmission Lost is a really beautiful record, one that's full of pretty music and powerful moments that are both quiet and loud, and that's all that matters, really, isn't it?

All Other Reviews Can Be Found Here – Model A Website