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Now You Know
Release Date: October 16, 2015
Manhattan-born Madame Mayhem has been making waves on the live scene over the last couple of years. She is making her recorded debut with Now You Know, an album of radio-friendly hard rock tunes that features the talents of producer/player Billy Sheehan (DLR, Mr. Big, Winery Dogs), Ray Luzier (Korn), Bumblefoot (ex-GNR), Russ Parish (Steel Panther’s “Satchel”), and Corey Lowery (Stuck Mojo). Needless to say, this album is full of rock and roll anthems!
Now You Know starts off with a bang with a dark, edgy fist pumper called “Monster.” Chock full of in your face vocals, soaring choruses, and thick guitars, it’s a great way to start the album. “Perfect Nightmare” and “Something Better (Now You Know)” continue along the same path, making the Madame’s anthemic intentions clear. The latter is a little less straightforward musically, giving it a slightly darker twist (especially during the spiraling verses) but it follows suit with the pounding rhythms and wailing vocals that are the mark of any great sing-along chorus. The completely rockin’ “After 2 AM” and “Can’t Stand” are highlights as well.
The album’s structure loses a little focus after the initial trio of songs. “Under the Microscope” is an interesting tune, but the parts don’t ever seem to fully gel, making it sound a bit awkward. The acoustic ballad “Pain” is another good idea for a song that just doesn’t quite come to life in a way that fully grabs you. It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, it just isn’t the quality of a lot of the other tunes.
Overall, I enjoy Now You Know. That said, this is the kind of record that you will easily pick favorite tracks on after a spin or two. There are a large handful of really good tracks on here and a few that attempt to break the mold but end up breaking the momentum. If you enjoy strong, radio-friendly hard rock, though, you’ll find a good bit here to fall in love with.
Reviewed by Mark 1340