It seems these days three out of every four bands hail from California, and that two of the four are worth talking about. Enter Mêlée, a young, vibrant quartet led by singer/pianist Chris Cron’s emotive voice and energetic piano playing. Devils & Angels, the band’s debut album on major label Warner Brothers, ranges from hopeful tales of love (“Built To Last”), mid-tempo memories (“For A Lifetime”), to showing support for the ones you love (“Can’t Hold On To This”). No matter the subject being tackled, Cron along with guitarist/vocalist Rick Sans (who shares writing duties with Cron), bassist/vocalist Ryan Malloy, and drummer Mike Nader know exactly how to allow their lyrics and musicianship stand alone while complimenting each other perfectly. “Love Carries On” and “You Got” have a rich 70’s vibe, the latter with heavy guitar effects throughout. “She’s Gonna Find Me Here” shows vulnerability at its best while being comfortable with the notion of falling in love and not having to pretend to be someone you’re not. Devils & Angels is a very strong showing for a debut from such a young band.
— Naimah Holmes