EP Review: Macseal — ’Map It Out’

Posted: by The Editor

While Cole Szilagyi and Francesca Impastato dance around their instruments like woodland creatures, we should cut to the chase and get to how excellent their band Macseal’s new EP, Map It Out is. After showing clear influences from Marietta on their self titled EP, and Modern Baseball on the following one, their newest release feels greatly shaped by the hometown heroes of Long Island: Oso Oso.

With catchy hooks that leave the listener reeling and even more relateable verses, the EP opens up with “Sure Thing, Shelly.” This honest track describes what it’s like when you don’t know where you are going with your life and everyone else seems to have clearly “mapped it out.” The constant fear of remaining stagnant in our lives is perfectly reflected in Cole’s lyrics.

After “camping out under stained sheets,” Ryan Bartlett describes what happens next, the feeling of grogginess when you wake up in the morning without any drive. You slowly peel back the linen layer of skin you grew overnight, and then you do the very next thing every person on the planet does; check your phone. “Golden Hour” describes the process of getting ready to do this all again when the sun goes back down. When you don’t have your life mapped out, the mornings and nights seem to make up your whole day, while the afternoons slip by.

“Old Halls” is easily the most impressive sounding song on this record. The intro guitar feels reminiscent of a 21st Century Breakdown-era Green Day acoustic ballad. Cole’s leading vocals here harmonize with the instrumental in a similar fashion to the brass section of a marching band. They cut through perfectly in tune and in time as Francesca’s cymbals pick up the pace. Suddenly, the quintet opens up and releases the energy its had this whole time. The long days of rest and staying in bed fade away, as the sugar high from the Dunkin’ coffee they had kicks in. You can feel Greg Feltman and Justin Canavaciol (Macseal’s third guitarist and bassist respectively) fill the void this song previously had. You start to understand why the hell this band has three guitarists and you hear a bass that doesn’t simply mimic the drums or the root notes of every chord, but a bass that stands out as well as Macseal always has.

While “Old Halls” is the most impressive, “Sleeping In” is my personal favorite. When the tracklist was first revealed, I had already known this to be true. Even if you somehow find Macseal off putting, you can’t argue that they save the best songs for last on their releases. “5:45 AM” and “These Things Happen” are the two most B-sides this band has.

“Sleeping In” opens up the way most of my favorite songs do: a singular guitar playing chords scaling up the neck, and a singer recounting a few verses until the drums kick in. It is simplistic but it reminds you of home—Most importantly it hits home as well. Ryan once again describes the process of waking up, a task that is seemingly so easy but feels impossible when it comes to doing it in real time. Ryan adds another element to this which makes the begrudging task even more difficult. Having your significant other in the bed with you. When home doesn’t feel like home, and all you want is your partner’s presence, pulling your feet off the mattress and onto the floor is the last thing you want to do.

This EP is amazing. While the influences are clear, Macseal makes a name for themselves once again. Hearing these amazing artists describe how they are too, lost at times, is what everyone needed to hear this Friday morning. It’s currently 1:20 as I’m typing this and I am just getting out of bed myself. I’m excited to rip this record all day until I inevitably have to take care of my responsibilities.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal

You can listen to Map It Out here.

Jordi Perbtani // @foxwoodfl

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