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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Review: Mad Anthony - Mad Anthony EP

Mad Anthony - Mad Anthony EP
2008, Phratry Records

Cincinnati sits squarely in the heart of the rust belt, combining Northeastern attitudes with Midwestern sensibility in a fashion that's perhaps unlike anywhere else in the United States. The result of this mish-mash of attitudes and ideals is perhaps nowhere more visible than in Cincinnati’s arts scene, and in particular, the music scene. The mix and meld of style like Punk, Classic Rock and even Grunge is perhaps nowhere more vibrant and carries with it a pragmatic sensibility that you just don't find in cities like New York, Chicago or L.A. Mad Anthony has grown up in this particular Rock N Roll stew, and wears the result flavors well. Their debut release, a self-titled EP from 2008 simultaneously makes you want to dance while exploring the eternal conflict of human nature versus the higher self.

Vocalist/guitarist sounds like a cross between Jim Morrison and Cowboy Mouth's John Thomas Griffin and carries himself vocally with a confidence that never rises to a swagger but has substance throughout the disc. Mad Anthony opens with Strangest Dream and one of the more vibrant guitar licks you're likely to hear. The song is a fun bit of madness that will make you want to dance. The vocal line gets a bit messy with two vocalists at times who sing together but not quite together. Otherwise it’s a great song. Get You High is a gloriously mad Rock N Roll romp with serious drive without ever getting loud. Puget is about the struggle to be a better person, particularly as it applies to relationships. The song is intelligently written and conveys real relationship issues in a raucous Rock tune complete with Police-style chants. Hope Of The Consumption is an angry tune that shows its punk roots all the way back to The Clash. Listen to the guitar work here and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Mad Anthony closes out with July 24th, a vibrant punk rocker with some vaguely progressive tendencies. The resolution here is left a bit open, suggesting that the divergence of want and need, of good and evil, in mankind continues and may be examined again.

Mad Anthony sticks to their Lo-Fi, Garage sound throughout the 5 songs on Mad Anthony, driving listeners along in vaguely understated fashion (for Punk) to a highly danceable yet sociological conclusion. The hanging ending is a bit of genius, inviting the listener to come along and find out what comes next. Mad Anthony is good. We're game.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Mad Anthony at or You can purchase a copy of Mad Anthony at

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