Jetpack MailmanA-F Records
By Cole Faulkner
Philadelphia punk act Ma Jolie isn’t exactly what you’d call the most original band out there. Drawing influence from the gruff end of the spectrum, listeners will easily hear elements of Hot Water Music, The Holy Mess, The Brokedowns, and various other vocalists that ingest gravel as a regular part of their daily diet. Their latest EP, Jetpack Mailman, follows a slow growing body of work that has earned Ma Jolie the deserving attention of the punk press. While not exactly a huge step in any new direction, Jetpack Mailman offers up four more reasons to pursue this budding trio.
Opening with the near-hardcore bark and knee-jerk pacing of abrasively driven riffs, “Tired Life” presents Ma Jolie in their harshest of light. With a tempo that lurches and intensifies at varying intervals, listeners will feel as though gaining a glimpse into some sort of Red Scare Industries rough cut, and certainly come to understand Ma Jolie as fitting of their home on A-F Records. “Ego Tourism” follows up by emphasizing the lead role of bassist “Franky Fuzz.” Grumbling open with a groaning thump-crunch-thump beat soon to be mirrored in percussion, the track draws distinction between each chorus’ belted vocal heights and more gradually rumbling verse. Later, “Canyon” employs the same bass-heavy disposition for something of a hard-rock groove that punches through the foreground during various verses. The band saves their most melodic disposition for “Pittsburgh.” Resounding gang vocals smooth out vocalist Kirk Malosh’s throaty groans for a chorus worth rallying around, even if it doesn’t quite bore to memory like that of genre heavyweights.
On the whole, Ma Jolie offers up four enjoyable – albeit predictable – gruff punk tunes. Largely approachable for those with a hankering for rough-cut punk, Jetpack Mailman is a safe and easy investment. While Ma Jolie doesn’t push themselves or challenge boundaries in any major way, once again they get the job done. As far as EP’s between full lengths go, Jetpack Mailman is worth the attention in the interim.