It’s hard to know where to start with the Melismatics right now. The always-working-it, pop-punk synth-rock quartet -- led by husband/wife team Ryan Smith and Kathie “Pony” Hixon-Smith -- landed this week on the playlist of legendary Los Angeles radio DJ Rodney Bingenheimer (of KROQ-FM (the so-called “Mayor of the Sunset Strip”). Their new record, “Mania!,” is also charting on the CMJ Top 200 chart, last week at No. 47.
Interestingly, the song Bingenheimer played, “Your Love Is a Poison,” is not the song that the band just issued a new video for. And neither that one nor the song that the video is for, “Divided Devotion” (posted below), are the song that would likely get the most attention as a single, “Out of Yer Mind,” since it was co-written with Dan “Someone Like You” Wilson.
Truth is, “Mania!” – which features more boy/girl harmony-swapping and ample hooks -- is the kind of well-polished rock record that sounds like seven or eight of its tracks could be singles. The band's longtime supporter John Fields (Jonas Brothers, All Time Low producer) mixed them all but left half of the disc's production to Minneapolis vet Ed Ackerson. The other half was produced by Jon Auer, co-leader of cult-loved ‘90s pop-rock band the Posies.
Auer is expected as a special guest at the band’s “Mania!” release party Friday at the Ritz Theater, with Sick of Sarah opening (8 p.m., $10). The Melismatics are also playing what could be quite a fun acoustic gig tonight at the Apple store in Uptown (7 p.m., free). Wonder if the band can sell physical CDs at that one, or they just have to direct fans to iTunes?