Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Mad Caps by The Mad Caps - Album Review

The Mad Caps spew out churning retro blues rock with a post punk vibe. This genre in various forms spans across bands like The Black Keys, The Kills, The Ettes, The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and many Jack White imaginings (to name a few). The Mad Caps (like The Ettes) channel a more authentic sound that is raw, sexy and dangerous harkening back to curled lip rockers like Gene Vincent and Jerry Lee Lewis. It is in your face loud, over modulated and crass. It makes me want to twist a pack of cigarettes in my t-shirt sleeve and I don't even smoke. Ted Rader with his vocal yelps, low southern cadence, and post punk bite is a manic mixture of Elvis, Gene Vincent and Billy Idol.

"Rosie and The Wolfman" is pure unadulterated rock, nervous and edgy like Elvis on crack. "Kitty Kitty" rolls along like a locomotive and conjures up bobby socks and swing dancing. "Tube Top" rocks with a reminiscent rock guitar progression used in a similar fashion by the Dandy Warhols (and, dare I say, Bachman Turner Overdrive) but with the Mad Caps these classic rock progressions have never sounded more sultry. "Wild Wild Lover" and "To Hell with the Devil" are straight up rockabilly punk built around familiar southern blues progressions. They both build to a fever pitch and stay there.

The Mad Caps self entitled album does not forge new musical terrain as much as carry on a tradition of blues rock / rockabilly while throwing a hard post punk / garage rock patina on it. This is a solid record but, in truth, this kind of music is always best heard live. Best experienced in crowded bars, warehouses or bowling alleys. It is pure of heart, part of Americana and best of all rocks your socks off.


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