The Exploding Madonna - s/t
(self-released 2005, TEM2-002)
From Aural Innovations #34 (August 2006)
An excellent disc of crushing new wave space rock from a trio of Floridians, The Exploding Madonna's self-titled debut features jet-propelled guitars and synths that soar and dive over a rock bottom rhythm section. The opening tracks, "Space" and "Joe Namath's Laboratory," explore dense and airy realms of neo-psychedelic heavy rock, while managing to avoid the excesses of conventional stoner rock. Substituting melodicism and melodrama for grit and grind on extended pieces like "Hyperxiological Sky" and "Mary in Slow Motion," the group constructs dazzling futuristic epics of appropriately galactic scope. The former, for instance, takes off at concussion speed before powering down to an almost ambient bliss glide through drifting vistas of imaginary magnitudes. Clear echoes of Wish You Were Here-era Floyd, as well as the Ozric Tentacles and Porcupine Tree, abound throughout the seven songs, though Christian Fabian's electronically processed vocals owe more of a debt to those of Helios Creed and Ian Curtis, particularly on the post-punk space groove of "Blank Space Ocean." The crisp production and metallic sheen of the recording itself contains just the right amount of electronic murkiness to distinguish it from run-of-the-mill progressive rock, while the intricate arrangements and excellent drum gymnastics of Mike Coleman add depth and dimension to the careening guitar/synthscapes conjured by Paul Burdack, particularly on "Beneath Naked Heaven" and the aforementioned "Mary in Slow Motion." Both of these tracks are in many ways paradigmatic of The Exploding Madonna's approach to 21st century space rock: acid-tinged guitar, crashing drums and thundering bass, all swathed in a mesmerizing fabric of swooshing synthesizers and swirling electronic effects. Fans of the Floyd, Hawkwind, Chrome and the Ozric Tentacles will definitely want to check out this first offering from a group that will hopefully have much more to say in the future.
For more information you can visit The Exploding Madonna web site at: http://www.theexplodingmadonna.com.
Visit The Exploding Madonna Myspace.com site at: http://www.myspace.com/theexplodingmadonna.
Reviewed by Charles Van de Kree