Circus of Power

Magic & Madness

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Magic & Madness Review

by Jason Anderson

1993's Magic and Madness was the first and last Circus of Power recording for Columbia records after three RCA releases and only a modicum of late ‘80s hard rock success. Despite maintaining a high profile with some decent publicity and opening slots for superstar rockers of the time, the band's unimpressive sales cost them their first record deal and yet they managed to land another deal and one last chance to break into the shrinking hard rock marketplace. During the uncertain times between label homes, a few lineup changes were made, so core members Gary Sunshine (guitar) and Alex Mitchell (vocals) are joined on Magic and Madness by Ricky Beck Mahler (guitar,) Mark Frappier (bass) and Vitor Indrizzo on drums. Not so surprisingly, the music on this fourth offering from Circus of Power is a little emotionally flat. Producer Thom Panunzio does a decent job blending the good performances (especially from Mitchell) into a gritty rock sound, but the hit single needed to keep this band alive cannot be found among the average hooks and generic guitar riffs. Circus of Power already had much to overcome, both creatively and commercially before the post-Nevermind world of American popular music turned violently away from the kind of hard rock they were practicing, and by the time of this release, Circus of Power had essentially lost their way.

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