THE BLACK MARIA


"A Shared History of Tragedy" (Victory; 2006)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

The Black Maria is a band from Canada and their namesake comes from what police vans were called in the 1920s. They have that emo/metal/alternative sound that seems to be so popular right now. The title of this CD is taken from an episode of Six Feet Under and based on the band's experience of recording this disc after some line-up changes and emotional woes.

"A Shared History of Tragedy" is well produced with singer Chris Gray using his powerful pipes to scream his way through a few tracks. He also has a sit-down-at-the-piano voice on a couple of tracks as well. Chris wrote all the songs so it makes sense for him to pour a part of himself into each one. I heard shades of The Cure on a few cuts, so you know the vocals expansive.

Fans of The Used and My Chemical Romance will enjoy the sound of The Black Maria.

There aren’t any solos but there is "filler guitar" which makes me listen with bended ear because just holding a guitar to me doesn’t ear you guitarsaws; you have to either saw on that thing or rip out a solo. Anyone can pose.

The best cuts here are “The Perilous Curse,” “Waking Up With Wolves,” “Nothing Comes Easy But You” and “11:11.”

The Black Maria: Chris Gray – vocals; Mike De Eyre – bass & keyboards; Alan Nacinovic – guitar; Scott Swain – guitar; Theo McKibbon – drums.

For more information, check out www.theblackmaria.com


"A Shared History of Tragedy" (Victory; 2006)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Canada's The Black Maria underwent a lineup change (ditching their drummer and ex-Grade guitarist Kyle Bishop) and come up sounding radio ready and prim and proper. 

Taking their schmaltzy somber rock somewhere between Staind and Finger Eleven, this 11-track disc should hit big with the set that digs rock songs you'll hear on the "Now That's What I Call Music" compilations. Tracks like the shimmering” Van Gogh" and the uber-synthesized "Waking Up With Wolves" have been meticulously produced to bilk hard-earned dollars from the parents of sensitive teen punk rockers everywhere, while the pedestrian rock stance displayed on "A Thief in the Ranks (Your Bike)" vies 30 Seconds to Mars for overwrought rock anthem of the year. 

Piano heavy, laden with cascading moodiness, and able to explode into a huge chorus at moment's notice, "A Shared History of Tragedy" fits right in with what's hip and happening for the MTV2 generation. 

For more information, check out www.theblackmaria.com


"A Shared History of Tragedy" (Victory; 2006)

Reviewed by Snidermann

What is that makes you like a CD from a band whose genre you would usually never like? Well, that is certainly the question I had to ask myself as I reviewed "A Shared History of Tragedy" by The Black Maria.

Normally, I would consider this kind of music “sponge rock” (it sounds just like a hundred other bands out there today). However, I not only found this CD tolerable, but I actually really liked it! There were things about this CD that I found fantastic: The music, the vocals (although they do tend to drag at times), the lyrics and the crisp, clear production. "A Shared History ..." proves that even “sponge rock” can be enjoyable sometimes. 

The Black Maria utilizes all the things available to them to make this CD rock and I think that is in part to the production value and in part to just plan showmanship. 

The Black Maria is for real and "A Shared History of Tragedy" transcends a genre that is too often bland and anemic. 

The Black Maria: Chris Gray – vocals; Mike De Eyre – bass & keyboards; Alan Nacinovic – guitar; Scott Swain – guitar; Theo McKibbon – drums.

For more information, check out www.theblackmaria.com or www.myspace.com/theblackmaria.


Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2017 09:17:44 -0400.