Madhouse on Castle Street

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Madhouse on Castle Street Review

by Jack Rabid

With Madhouse, Connecticut's Chopper builds on a batch of fine power pop EPs and singles, and leaves them behind. While still a feast for anyone who continues to pull Shoes, (Paul Collins') the Beat, and Let's Active records off the shelf, Madhouse's piano ("Tin Star"), pedal steel ("Ragged and Grey"), harpsichord (the super "Love Goes Down the Drain"), harmonica ("Snake Lake"), and delicious mandolin ("It's So Obvious to Me") highlight more mature arrangements, and more accomplished songs and words. Leaders Steven Deal and Robert Dietrich's supremely melodic, sparklingly produced work is so much deeper, it's akin to the progression the Beatles made from the simple, great Beatles for Sale to the more introspective, careful, thoughtful, timeless Help! Er, Rubber Soul on the horizon, anyone?

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