Goudie

...Effects of Madness

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Johnny Goudie's Texas glam rock band, Goudie, returns from major-label mishaps with ...Effects of Madness, released on India Records, an artists' collective label that shows up the corporate music industry. Despite a title that suggests frantic experimentation, the album is a smooth collection of detailed and layered spacy pop that could easily give U.K. post-Radiohead acts like Starsailor, Travis, Coldplay, and JJ72 a bittersweet run for their money. This is the type of record that the folks responsible for the Mercury Prize love: slick arena rock with clean production, grandiose vocals, and smart pop songwriting sensibilities. ...Effects of Madness doesn't have any melodies that stay with you for days, but it does prove Johnny Goudie a masterful sonic alchemist, albeit a safe one. The opening track, "Nobody's Perfect," kicks off the album with a groovy glam celebration that fuses Aladdin Sane-era piano, electronic bleeps, and the guitar whine and grind of post-grunge groups like Truly and the Dark Fantastic. It's a feel-good tune that tips its hat to the '70s in the way that Spacehog's downright unstoppable "In the Meantime" does. "The Ride" mines Radiohead circa Pablo Honey for the anthemic sprawl of Thom Yorke's "You." Goudie also pulls off dark dirges ("Leave It Alone") like the Black Heart Procession trying to write for a mainstream audience, The Bends' wall of sound ("Down"), and darkwave Casio rock ("Collapse"). There are moments that drag ("Already Here"), but all in all, ...Effects of Madness is a triumphant album showing that a band can survive its major-label contracts. You can't help but think that Johnny Goudie is commenting directly on his unfortunate dealings with major-label exploitation on "Upside Down & Pink" as he sings "upside down and pink, watch your dreams all sink...Hollywood is nothing they promised you."

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