American band MAD PAINTER have recently released their 2nd album Splashed. Consisting of 17 (!) songs, including covers of Uriah Heep’s “Stealin'” and “Highway Driver”, originally by German band Randy Pie. Splashed touches on various classic rock & pop influences, so it’s a bit of mish-mash of a number of good songs, however I will say I prefer the old 40+-minute / 8-10 track restraints. The band’s sound revolves around Alex Gitlin’s lead vocals, and keyboards (largely Hammond organ & piano), which works fine on the more ‘progressive’ rockers, like lead off track “Illusion”, which kicks off with a big Hammond organ intro reminiscent of old Uriah Heep or Argent. It’s a good rocker, which features further keyboard & guitar exchange as the song comes to a close. “Samurai” is another one that fits into this Hammond organ intro / driven rock tunes, and I dig the Randy Pie cover. Also of interest is “Parting Line”, which takes it’s title and lyrics from an old John Sloman ballad and puts them to big guitar opening riff, courtesy of Alan Naha.
But after that Splashed features a number of lighter songs, ballads, even a few ‘show’ tunes. And I mean that in a good way, because I think this is where the vocals and band (performances & production) are even better, with ballads “Lie To Me”, and “I’ve Been A Fool”, more poppy tunes like the late ’70s sounding “Love Is Gold”, and theatrical pieces “Friend In France” and “The Moon” . Splashed is a fine collection of songs, but I think there’s a lot going on, almost like there’s more than one album here. Overall a fun sounding band, who (I imagine) are a good live act; hope to hear more Rock from them in the future!
*For more info, check out the Bio below, as well as links!
Mad Painter is a new band in the Boston area, deeply rooted in the melodic rock tradition of the 1970s. They play mostly original music, ranging from Woodstock-era psychedelic rock to glam tinged rock’n’roll a-la Mott the Hoople and the Faces and to epic heavy anthems in the vein of Uriah Heep. It consists of four individuals with wildly ranging backgrounds. At the center of Mad Painter is Alex Gitlin, the songwriter and creator of the concept. He is backed capably by drummer Al Hendry (Bubba Loaf, Tokyo Tramps), as well as bassist Kenne Highland, a true veteran of the Boston rock scene (ex-Gizmos, Hopelessly Obscure, Johnny & The Jumper Cables, Africa Corps.) and the newest addition is guitarist Al Naha (Thighscrapers), who plays with Kenne in Kenne Highland Airforce. They’ve played, in different line-ups and guises, many venues around the Boston area, such as the MIT, Out of the Blue Gallery, McGann’s, Hennessy’s, Club Bohemia, The Jungle Community Music Club and C Note in Hull, as well as the Winter Tanglefest in the Poconos. It’s always a good time when you come to their shows, and you know what to expect – nostalgic 70s rock vibes and stage gear to match, great musicianship and songs that will make you get up and bop around, singing and clapping along. A party.