ST. MADNESS

"Saintanic" (Nasty Prick Records; 2010)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

On "Saintanic," St. Madness turns it up to 11. The music here is hard and heavy, pounding away at you in a thrashy kind of way with the music blaring clearly from your stereo speakers thanks to outstanding production. The guitars sound great and the bass is awesome throughout. Vocalist Prophet has never sounded better, emulating a cross between Rob Halford and Oderus Urungus - an interesting combination that works amazingly well.

The songs, for the most part, are kick-ass rockers and, as on previous St. Madness albums, the lyrics sometimes get a little less-than-serious. The country-esque song, "BBQ U," is one of those. It's a fun track but its frivolity tends to interrupt the album's flow. There are also a couple of speaking voice tracks that, while admittedly amusing, tend to do the same thing.

Regardless, "Saintanic" was one of my favorite albums of 2010. It's everything you'd expect from a band as talented and as insane as St. Madness.

A couple of cover tunes are worth noting here: "Crazy Train" is a pretty straight forward cover of the Ozzy tune with a little more oomph to it while the fiery cover of JJ Cale's "Cocaine," will leave you breathless with St. Madness making it their own.

For more information, check out http://www.stmadness.com

"Vampires in the Church" (Nasty Prick Records; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The previous album by St. Madness, "We Make Evil Fun," played more like a novelty record than a straight rock'n'roll record. It was a fun listen but -- like most novelty records -- it felt light and airy ... you know, just for fun.

"Vampires in the Church" is another story entirely. Although the band still has loads of fun (just witness the lyrics of the fellatio-themed "Head"), the music, the lyrics and, in fact, the CD packaging is far more professional, sophisticated and ... well ... more real ... than "We Make Evil Fun."

The band shines throughout "Vampires in the Church" with an old school sound that is heavy, crunchy and sometimes faster than hell (as on "I Cut Myself" and "Kill"). There are razor sharp leads, varied rhythms and vocals that are crisp and clean yet have an irresistible rough edge. There are enough hooks here to grab hold of any fan of hard rock / heavy metal and the production is tight and clear.

Lyrically, St. Madness takes themselves more seriously here as well. With the possible exception of the above-mentioned "Head," the lyrics here (by vocalist Prophet) are darker and more profound than on the previous CD. 

A cover of Pantera's "Walk," in memory of the late Dimebag Darrell is a highlight.

"Vampires in the Church" is a great leap ahead for St. Madness, boding well for the band's future.

St. Madness: Dark Soul - drums; Altar Boy- lead guitar; Prophet - vocals/lyrics; Uno Mosh - bass guitar; Mad Marvin - rhythm guitar.

For more information, check out http://www.stmadness.com

"We Make Evil Fun" (Nasty Prick Records; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

With their KISS-like painted faces, St. Madness, on "We Make Evil Fun," sound like a bizarre mix of GWAR, Pantera, Judas Priest and, believe it or not, Skrapp Mettle (remember them?).

Comprised of 14 tracks from previous CDs plus six new ones (and running  just over 78 minutes), "We Make Evil Fun" runs the gamut from GWAR-like superthrashers to Pantera-ish rough'n'raw ragers to straight on Judas Priest rockers. And many of the lyrics, proudly penned by vocalist Prophet, have the sick, raucous and bluntly obscene content that Skrapp Mettle's single CD made famous (although there are some serious lyrics as well).

Also worth noting is a cover of "Wild Thing," which sounds more like a cover of Sam Kinison's version than The Troggs ("Wild Thing, ya make my dick swing!") and a sweltering version of the song Jimi Hendrix made famous, "Hey, Joe."

Of the original songs, most are serviceable rockers. Some excel ("No Mercy," "The Crown") and some just flounder ("Ice Pick," "Evil Elvis"). Still, overall, "We Make Evil Fun" holds your attention easily, whether it be with head-banging rock'n'roll or lyrics so funny or so outrageously over-the-top that you can't hope but laugh.

St. Madness: Dark Soul - skins; Dr. Frankenshred - lead guitar; Prophet - vocals/lyrics; Randy Ax - bass guitar. 

For more information, check out http://www.stmadness.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2011 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Nov 2017 10:28:11 -0500.