Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mad At The World - Mad At The World (1987)

One of the best things about producing my own blog is that it gives me the opportunity to mention albums that very few people are likely to be familiar with. A good example is the self-titled debut from alternative Christian band Mad At The World. In a year when synthpop acts such as Erasure and Pet Shop Boys were dominating the charts and modern rock was awash with lyrical themes of alienation and doubt, it was refreshing to listen to music that addressed humanistic concerns in a positive way, without being preachy. The album's production values were top-notch, and it still stands up twenty years later.

The core of the group were the brothers Roger Rose (vocals, guitars) and Randy Rose (vocals, drums) and on their debut album they were able to synthesize rock, pop, electro and gospel in a quite original way. "Taking The Easy Way Out" is probably the best song ever written about the contemplation of suicide; "All The Lonely Sheep" and "It Can't Rain Forever" address the fear of teenage loneliness. "I Want To See Heaven", perhaps the standout track, discusses a fear of making bad moral choices, as does "Here We Go Again" and "Bad Motives". If the Christian content doesn't put you off, then all you need to know it that this album flat out rocks. Roger Rose's idiosyncratic vocals are a mildly acquired taste but ultimately serve to strongly differentiate this album from anything else in the CCM genre, or anywhere else, for that matter. The cover art was also striking and sold the package effectively.

Released on the US Frontline label, the album proved to be something of a one-off. Unable to replicate the unique studio arrangements in a live setting, the group began to incorporate increasing amounts of rock guitar into future productions, ultimately to the detriment of the initial fan-base.

I initially owned a cassette copy of the album, which became so worn that eventually the shell was replaced and held together with sticky tape. It's possible to find the original CD, but you'll probably have to pay more than the $6.00 I paid for mine on eBay seven years ago.

UPDATE: Happy to report that the entire Frontline Records catalog is now available through digital sources.

Also check out some footage of the band recording in the studio at Roger's YouTube channel.

Mad At The World - Mad At The World (1987)
  1. Living Dead
  2. All The Lonely Sheep
  3. I Want To See Heaven
  4. No Room Left
  5. Taking The Easy Way Out
  6. Bad Motives
  7. No More Innocence
  8. It Can't Rain Forever
  9. Here We Go Again
  10. Dry Your Tears
  11. Mad At The World
  12. Chance Of Luck
Legal Download at Amazon

I still get chills just typing out the song titles. What a great album.

The best MATW website
Wikipedia Entry


Anonymous said...

file not found

Anonymous said...

Can you upload this album again? Link doesnt work!

fiftypercent said...

fixed the link. thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this awesome album. I'd never heard of this band before, but this album is freakin stunning for fans of obscure 80s new wave.

ChiliLady said...

I love to read your blog, and I would love to exchange links!
Please write me a comment somewhere in “my everyday glamour”… ;-)
Keep up the good work
Your secret post-admirer (haha),
Chililady from Austria

Brent .S said...

Sounds abit like The Associates to me, very interesting..thanx for sharing! :)

Miss Parker said...

I can't wait to give this a listen - thank you. Mercyme and Third Day are two contemporary Christian bands that also really rock.

It's great to have the opportunity to listen to, yet again, another 80's band.

Grazie e ciao.

Kevin said...

i had this album back in the day. wasn't really my style. i was more into The Choir and the 77's to be honest. Actually still listen to those fairly regularly. not the new stuff. anyways, enjoying your musings and your music. keep it on.

Anonymous said...

NiCe :-)