Mad Spanner – Life Absurd
Release Date: 29/03/2019
Running Time: 29:40
Review By Beth Jones
And now for something completely different!!! The crazy world of Mad Spanner has finally come to a studio recording, with the release of their debut album “Life Absurd”. It could not be more aptly titled! As I have said before, these guys are the embodiment of Monty Python, in metal. Their crazy, off the wall, observational comedy makes for a cracking live show, so I was really looking forward to hearing this album, which features some of my personal favourite songs, such as ‘Forced To Use A Shitty Drum Machine’, and ‘Get Off Your Bastard Phone (You Anti-social Dickhead)’!
The album is just as madcap and frenetic as their stage show, and makes you feel what I imagine clothes must feel in a tumble dryer! The band’s bio has it spot on: ‘Frantic, bizarre and utterly wild. Always seeking to put the absurd onstage, dedicated to delivering an intense tornado of a show with energy and passion unparalleled!’
Kicking off with ‘Wrongshade’, the album takes us at a pace through 30ish minutes of craziness, with proggy rhythm changes, grungey sludgey guitar sounds and the occasional chicken noise, all peppered over with a heavy dose of punk distortion, shouty vocals, and comedic spoken word. It is kind of like a really intense cheese dream!
Musically, what they do is not overly complicated or intricate, it is just good, solid, loud punk, but their rhythm changes, and cross timings add an extra dimension. They like a good bit of flange too – as in the effect!!!!…Honestly, filthy minded you lot are, all of you!
The thing that makes Mad Spanner different is their utter mad spannerness! Michael Randall’s crazy lyrics and expressive voice do make you feel like you are in some sort of drug influenced spell at an asylum, but in a rather pleasurable way! Dan Ashley’s guitar work is frenetic, and I was particularly impressed with his little solo in ‘Drinking The Drunk Away’. Ben Codd finishes the trio on drums, and he is probably the most stable member of the merry gang, in terms of keeping the crazy on track rhythmically (obviously I’m not qualified to discuss his mental state, I’m not medically trained)!
My personal favourite tracks from this album are ‘Drinking The Drunk Away’ and ‘Avocado Commando’, although it is very difficult to pick out a favourite track, as they are all so bonkers! I would also like to give a special mention to the spoken word track ‘Seagulls Haunt Me in My Sleep’, which is a small stroke of poetic mastery, that would not be out of place being performed at a very arty spoken word event, by someone in a Beret, a grandad shirt and silk neck tie!
All in all this is a great way to start their recorded catalogue, and a must for anyone who likes their music on the absurd side! Jolly well done chaps! Keep it up!
2.Forced To Use A Shitty Drum Machine
4.Massacre Of The Flies (ft Kieran Scott – ‘Ashen Crown’)
5.I Was Caught Shitting In A Plastic Bag
6.Get Off Your Bastard Phone (You Anti-Social Dickhead)
8.Drinking The Drunk Away
12.Seagulls Haunt Me In My Sleep
13.Thinking Nothing. Feeling Nothing.
14.Escape Into Reality
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