HiFi Report

back to CD Review Index

Various Artists
Mad City Music
An excellent time capsule for the approaching millennium, Mad City Music captures eighteen bands who demonstrate equal amounts of hope and pride, mixed in with the usual carafe of talent and passion. Influences as varied as Soundgarden, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Living Color show themselves in this eclectic collection. Whether it's the Texas blues of the Mark David Group or the rockaway reggae of Natty Nation, all the Mad City Music bands share a commitment to solid vibes and good times. The bone rattling boogie of A.J. Steil and the Rhythm Invasion and the horn laden funk of Phat Phunktion sit pretty next to the swirling hypno-rock of Shamen Spell, Pulse Radio and Photopsia. A well-informed primer; "Mad City Music," includes established local acts The Wizenheimers, and Marques Bovre and the Evil Twins, as well as bands whose talents -  such as Stone Bogart's gleeful assaults on pop, or the femme fatale frenzy of the Passion Fairies -  are tragically under recorded. Sponsored by WIBA, Sleepless Nights Studios and Ward-Brodt Music Mall, proceeds benefit Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Dane County, but bands and consumers benefit as well. Each band receives well  deserved exposure while the club hopping disc buying public gets a rundown that reads like a best of Saturday night in Madison, WI  1998. 
John Noyd