Wayne Kramer scrapes the proverbial underbelly of society to remind listeners of the ever-present influence of his early work in the MC5 and validate his renewed creative tenacity with Dangerous Madness, his second solo outing. The punk/metal forefather delves into his seminal musical history and harrowing bouts with drug addiction and jail time to create another blast of authentic, streetwise hard rock. The title track launches Dangerous Madness with a hard-driving, wary observation of society's fringe, attacking talk-show culture and violence-prone extremism. Terrence Trent Darby adds a subtle hint of soul to the otherwise brutal rocker. Kramer's disdain for mainstream media is glaringly evident on "Rats of Illusion," a scathing diatribe against lowest-common-denominator news programming. Kramer's more optimistic-sounding songs are tempered with his experienced, cautionary tone. "Wild America" and "The Boys Got That Look" simultaneously embrace and warn against the wild bravado that was no doubt a driving force in his early years. "It's Never Enough" scorches through a quasi-autobiographical account of drug addiction and misplaced ambitions. Kramer's lyrical phrasing often resembles the dark-side-of-life writing of street-level author Charles Bukowski, and his manic guitar attack paints a similarly gritty mural of shady debauchery. Dangerous Madness is a hair-raising jaunt through dark but realistic subject matter, proving Kramer to be an incendiary poetic force. His self-produced sonic boom effectively recaptures the raw musical intensity of his days in the MC5 without sounding overly nostalgic. The faint of heart may not wish to partake, but those with an appetite for brutally honest, bone-crunching rock will not be disappointed.
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AllMusic Review by Paul Henderson