Mad Wallace: 'Hook Line and Sinker' (Album Review)
I was up late one night recently, sifting through my emails and up popped an email from Mad Wallace. I have recently been receiving a lot of album submission for review but with limited time and festival season in full bloom, I hadn't been able to sort through them all. Reading this particular email made me excited and humbled. Fans of the site and looking for some more exposure, Mad Wallace reached out and caught my interest immediately. I had to get a review for their recent album ‘Hook Line And Sinker’ here at www.jambandpurist.com
While the music itself is super important, first impressions are everything and the album cover for 'Hook Line and Sinker' was not only intriguing but one of the coolest I have reviewed thus far. Album art and album cover art itself has gone to the wayside due to digital formatting but I still believe a good image can say a thousand words. Weird and somewhat unearthly, ‘Hook Line and Sinker’s cover art features a luminescent smiling face that can be seen eerily peering behind the hood of a figure, who is fishing by the banks of some unknown celestial water. This imagery coupled with the dynamic sounds within, make this album visual and aesthetically pleasing.
The entire album 'Hook Line and Sinker' was recorded live and sounds very fluid and conceptual adaptable. The sonic sound of this band is somewhere between Jam and Progressive. Jake Sabetta-Guitar/Vocals, Jake Lauer-Drums/Vocals, David Becker-Bass/Vocals and Jamie Rushford-guitar/vocals all bring their own unique style and point of view to this album; working together symbiotically to create something greater than any single member can bring. 'Hook Line and Sinker' never deviates from its intent and purpose, only during Mad Wallace’s appropriate cover of The Allman Brothers classic, “Midnight Rider” do things get heavier and darker. The recording quality of ‘Hook Line and Sinker’ is exceptional and highly developed; sounding full and well-mixed through my home stereo system.
“Waterfront” is a great way to set up this album. The mental picture of the album cover comes to mind and the music itself juxtaposes this image in your head. “Waterfront” lays out a great foundation for what's comes next in this album with smooth yet razor sharp, melodic transposition. “Clover” begins with some intricate guitar work that reminds me of Phish or, even Umphreys Mcgee and is probably my favorite song off of this album. It has the perfect amount of dark and light, sonic levels. The transitions and breakdowns are on point and highly thought out. There is some great scaling and transmogrify work within.
Mad Wallace’s version of “Midnight Rider” was unexpected and original. While I've heard this song covered thousands of times, I have never heard anything as heavy as this. Mad Wallace takes this original ABB classic and turns it in its head, adding elements of Hard and Progressive Rock. I always admire when I band takes chances and tries something new instead of going with a straightforward approach to a cover. Mad Wallace goes all out grunge making this song their own and creating something original.
“Hook”, “Line” and “Sinker” all seem to fit together, as one single composition rather than three individual songs. I really enjoyed these seemingly improvisational and Jam heavy tunes. I would love to have heard some lyrics and as a songwriter, even came up with some words in my head. Instrumental songs like these allow the listener to create their own universe at will and ‘Hook Line and Sinker’ as a whole album is a great beginning for Mad Wallace. I truly enjoyed these songs and see a lot of potential from this Denver based foursome. Mad Wallace will be delivering another studio album this fall and even some videos for fans to enjoy. Look for more of this band here and at http://www.madwallace.com/
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Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.