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MADDING CROWD Finding The I Algeria Records (2008)

Madding Crowd have an unusual game plan in that they plan to release three albums then split up. This, their debut album, tells the story of Billy and his recovery from a loss of identity and perspective that modern life can cause. The album is split into two halves, the blue side which has the darker lyrical themes and the more upbeat orange side. The band’s choice of cover also pays homage to a certain famous Liverpool band of the 60’s…

It is a mixed bag overall with the single ‘Modern Man’ a very catchy tune, with the monotonous vocals of Mark Herbert prominent throughout (think ‘Laughing’ Leonard Cohen). ‘Finding The I’, ‘Up For Air’ and ‘Celebration (Billy’s Back)’ are the pick of the bunch. The album also grows in musical depth as it progresses with the opening tracks your basic drums/bass/guitar line-up, which is then supplemented by Spanish guitar, sax and keyboards on later tracks.

An interesting concept which they pull off in the main with their Kinks like lyrical approach but the vocals could put some listeners off!


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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