MENA BRINNO – Wicked Polly

MENA BRINNO - Wicked Polly
  • 5.5/10
    MENA BRINNO - Wicked Polly - 5.5/10


Dark Balance Records
Release date: February 2, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Mena Brinno is a female-fronted Metal band from Tampa, Florida. The name of this group is actually a gothic term that means “moon fever.” They are led by Katy Decker, who abandoned Opera halls in the hopes that she could create a little Metal mayhem. She’s accompanied by Marius Kozlowski, a guitar maestro that also handles the orchestrations on this album, and Vince Greco on bass. Fight fans may recognize the latter, as Greco was once a professional boxer. For the recording of Wicked Polly, the drums are beaten by Jeff Thal.

When listening to this album, it quickly becomes clear that “female-fronted” may not be an appropriate way of putting things. Female-dominated would be more like it, as Katy seems to overpower everything else on this album. She once performed with the Atlanta and Orlando Opera Companies and holds two degrees in voice from prestigious U.S. institutions. Needless to say, this chick can wail!

Katy might be a heck of a singer, but there are too many instances where her skills prove to be too much. In many ways, the music doesn’t seem fully integrated with the vocals. Katy single-handedly subdues her bandmates. When you consider how good of a guitar player Kozlowski is, it’s really kind of unfair to him. What’s more, he sounds too low in the mix; it’s almost like his guitar is running on its last legs.

Not to harp on Katy, as she’s clearly quite skilled, but there are plenty of cases where she seems to lack any semblance of emotion. It’s as if she’s so focused on sounding like a powerhouse that she forgets to inject feeling into her sound. When she’s not hitting the high notes, this is especially apparent.

Mena Brinno is boasted as “the first American Metal band to blend the Folk music of the United States into Gothic/Heavy Metal”. As far as the Folk music on this one goes, it doesn’t feel the least bit authentic. It’s more like it was cobbled onto certain tracks for the sake of mixing things up. As with the vocals and guitars, it just doesn’t sound as if it’s been incorporated into things properly. What Folk there is sounds forced and a little too playful to be taken seriously.

Subject matter is another issue with Wicked Polly. Most of the songs seem to be about longing for another man. If that’s not a surefire way to attract male fans, what is? Sarcasm aside, if you’re going to front a band with a woman (which is perfectly fine,) you’d better make sure she doesn’t sing exclusively about love, as most guys that listen to Metal are too macho to ever pick up an album like this in the first place!

Wicked Polly could’ve been a good thing if the band placed a little more emphasis and care on sound quality. Again, Katy is a hell of a singer, but she shouldn’t drown everyone else out. Had there been a better balance between music and vocals on this one, there could’ve been something here. The guitars, which are potentially as strong as Katy, need a breath of life and the uninspired Folk bits could do with the same.

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