welcome back to the Skaject folks! originally, we were gonna check out The Untouchables Double O Soul, but i’m not gonna lie i’m having a hard time finding it. if someone can point me in the direction of it, i’ll fit it into the review schedule, but i’m gonna have to move on in the meantime. today’s record is The Madness, the 1988 record released by former members of Madness under the name The Madness after the band split due to creative differences following their 1985 record, Mad Not Mad. let’s see what they got in store for us.

the opener, Nail Down the Days, is fine. it’s chunkier, with darker undertones, and works fine, but i’m just not into it too much. What’s Fine takes a very different musical approach but comes to a lot of the same conclusion – this is a weird track with some bright spots (like that bridge), but on the whole it’s just aight. I Pronounce You was the first single off this record and like… i don’t see it. some neat instrumentation here but think one overstays its welcome for me. Oh is doing some neat stuff. In Wonder’s got some strange tones running along the length of the track that are more distracting than tone-setting. Song In Red is dour in ways i’m not super interested in. there’s an interesting contrast in just how bright the chorus is, but the song is just not really successful. Nightmare Nightmare’s fun and funky in different ways. Thunder & Lightning feels like it shoulda been one of the singles here. Beat the Bride feels on the border of being something really promising, but doesn’t quite make it there. Gabriel’s Horn closes out the original tracklist, and it’s p good – i especially dig the guitar work between the sections of the verses. the CD release did add 4 tracks as bonuses (11th Hour, Be Good Boy, Flashings, and 4 B.F.), but i’m not gonna lie they didn’t do anything for me.

faves –
dislikes –

yeah i couldn’t get into this one. this mix of new wave vibes and some ska conventions just doesn’t really come alive very much, and i had a really hard time engaging with it. might be for some diehard Madness fans, but i’m unlikely to return here.

The Madness – 3/10

next up, it’s Fishbone’s next record, Truth and Soul!

previous: Thrill Me Up | next: Truth and Soul

previous Madness release: Mad Not Mad | next: Wonderful

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