Madcap - East To West (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


East To West (2002)


I've been trying to pin down what I don't like about this album for weeks.

Now don't let that opening fool you, there is some incredibly catchy and well-written rock and roll on Madcap's "East To West." Tracks like "Bright Lights, Big City," "Hometown" and "These Old Feelings" define the term anthem with huge hooks and crowd leasing sing-alongs. While I feel that these Dropkick Murphys / early-Rancid style tracks are used a tad too often, it only briefly hinders the albums' pacing.

The thing that catches me off guard about Madcap is their youth. We're accustomed to hearing our street punk from jaded veterans. I was writing this band off as a poor-man's U.S. Bombs for a while, probably because they're newer at the game and don't carry the same weight of experience as Duane Peters' crew. The more I think about it, that's not something that I can fault the band on. "Be more grizzled!" doesn't hold up well in an argument.

Therefore I appreciate Madcap more when they break out of street-punk-anthem mode. "Midnight Thoughts" is a great example of a lower-key track that lies somewhere between Green Day's "Longview" and the Clash's "Guns Of Brixton." Also included is an energetic cover of Blitz' "New Age" which the British Oi band could be proud of. Unfortunately things tend to get bogged down on certain tracks when the seven-man group vocals (that's just the guests in the studio, not including the band themselves) overpower the individuals.

There are nitpicky technical reasons why I'm not fully into this record, but those problems can certainly be ironed out in time. Hopefully they'll stretch their legs a bit more in the future, because they're certainly have the songwriting ability.