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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Madside

Madside

Review by Gary Hill

If you like alternative rock, nu metal or other recent forms of hard edged music, you probably should give these guys a try. This debut features some very strong cuts that seem to wander across the modern hard-edged soundscape. This outfit has produced a solid album that holds up reasonably well. The only real problem with it, and it's only a minor point, is that there are places where the disc suffers from a certain sameness to the songs. These moments are not all that plentiful and don't last for long, though.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sinking In
Effects start this, but after a short techno/industrial type intro these guys thunder in a heavy punky metal approach. This is powerful nu metal/alternative rocking material.
Never Gonna Be The Same
This one is a lot more light weight than the previous cut, coming in as a punky rock pop song, then dropping to a more balladic approach. They pump it up a bit at times, but this one stays fairly sedate and accessible. It is a pretty strong piece nonetheless. The heavier grind later is especially solid.
Ammunition
This one is faster and full of frantic power and thunder. It drops to a more stripped down alterna-metal approach, then jumps back up to classic metallic rocker. This one really kicks and is one of the standouts on the disc.
Deny
Starting out more mellow, the band carry it forward as a dark ballad for a while 'til it thunders out in a modern heavy rocking mode. This s a little generic, but oh so tasty as it works through by alternating and reinventing the two sections.
Blame
This is another strong modern rock number. It's just that by this point everything's beginning to sound the same. Still one killer heavy crunch riff and an extremely powerful vocal performance save this one from mediocrity.
Never Enough
Feeling a lot like Godsmack at times, this one is another potent cut that rocks out pretty well. It's enough of a change to work, and is one of the heaviest pieces on the disc.
Don't Care
This is another pretty generic hard-edged crunch rocker.
Fake It
This one comes in mellow and feels like the modern alternative rock balladic anthemic number that has become so formulaic in heavy rock these days.
I See Nothing
More hard-edged and potent, if a bit generic, rock, still this works quite well and is one of the more aggressive and standout pieces on the disc.
Lesson
This one starts tentatively and is one of the more dramatic and cool cuts on the album. It's a great way to end the CD and includes some of the tastiest riffing and most powerful vocal performances on show here.
 
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