Virginia band catches a groove

Mae is a fairly rare story of a Virginia-based, more specifically Norfolk, band doing great things for music. Their sound is a little hard to peg. It’s almost as if they wrote the soundtrack for a fairy tale with their CD “Destination: Beautiful.”

“Embers and Envelopes” opens the CD, and I have to admit that the sound caught me off guard because it is like nothing that you generally hear in popular music today. It is obvious that they were influenced by bands such as U2. Another aspect of the song that is interesting is the fact that Dave Gimenez’s singing has hints of an Irish dialect to it. His vocals blend perfectly and suit the band’s sound so well that it simply seems like another instrument.

“This Time Is The Last Time” has a strong beat that overpowers the singing at times. The chorus, however, sounds both beautiful and explosive. While the lyrics have the ring of an advertising slogan, “This time is the last time so be here, here now,” they fit the theme of the song.

The boys of Mae have such a fresh, young optimism that it’s hard not to give them the benefit of the doubt. “Sun” is a tale of two lovers who are trying to defy the odds in making their relationship work. It ends with a piano solo that really ties the song together.

The best song on the CD is “Soundtrack For Our Movie.” It is a unique take on an often trite brand of love song. Gimenez eloquently sings about creating and playing a CD for his girlfriend, which was based on their relationship. The song is complete with an unexpected, but not terrible, 1980s New Wave dance break.

It is quite possible that eventually Mae stickers might be just as prevalent on Virginia vehicles as DMB ones, since they boast on their web site, www.whatismae.com, that Virginia record stores have been selling out of their CDs. It is no wonder that people are responding to their music because Mae has certainly reached their destination.

Be sure to see them at the Java Hut in Farmville April 1, or at the Virginia Tech campus April 12.

Rating: 3 Stars

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