I've been following this new band, New Madrid, for a couple months now. I first heard of them when a friend of mine happened to catch them at Fat Baby over the summer and she said, "Hank, you've never head music like this before." So, I took her advice and checked out their myspace. There wasn't much content and the recordings were low-fi, but I saw they were playing a show at Pianos a couple weeks following, so I marked it on my calendar.
It was a pretty slow, warm Sunday night in July. The show was free. There were a couple other bands on the bill who were set to play after New Madrid, but I had work early the next day so I wasn't planning on sticking around for them (though I got sucked in and ended up staying, but that's for another blog). At about 9.30 the place started to fill up. Apparently I wasn't the only one who had heard that this band is a must-see/must-hear. A little after 10 New Madrid stepped on stage. At the middle mic was a guy who looked in his early-mid 20's with a charming little Latin accent. The bass player was a big dude with big dreads and a small t-shirt (sounds about right), the lead guitarist looked a little older, maybe late-2o's, with a fedora and a tie, and the drummer wore a smile on his face from set-up to tear-down. The first song, "Soberano," which became the first song on their recently-released EP, which I will get to shortly, began with a booming, almost tribal drum beat on the big toms. The lead singer, Axel (yes, that's his given name), got the crowd clapping - he hardly had to ask. Then his voice came in...
I'll be honest, the rest of the set became a blur. I was hooked. Sucked in. Tractor beam victim #1,598. This band was awesome. It was spicy but not over-the-top Latin - it was Rock but not too hard - it was fusion but not too obvious. It was new but not scary.
So, of course, I bought the EP which came out this past September, and, of course, went to the EP release party. The party was at Pianos, too, with the same band as the first show. As though the four members hadn't poured their hearts and souls out on stage the first, they FUCKING KILLED IT. The energy and the passion were engulfing, mystifying almost. The band was incredible. The EP is great. There are four songs: "Soberano," "Vesicant," "Pure" (my personal favorite), and "I'll Find My Way." They go together very nicely and it's a great way to kill about 20 minutes of your day. It cost me 4 bucks and I sent it to all my friends, and now they're all NM fans like me.
I highly recommend getting your hands on the New Madrid EP, but! I recommend seeing this band live even more. They are spectacular.
-Hank C. Kupsic