Stand By / ON (EP 2021)
Essentially Instrumental Stoner Psych Sludge
Pretty much centered in the triangle of the cities Rouen, Reims and Calais lies Amiens. In 2019, a three-piece entered the Walnut Groove Studio there to lay down their EP consisting of two songs and twenty-four minutes.
On the cover, amps and a kick drum stand in ruins and the plants look like they are recapturing the place. And the sound of MAD ACT is earthy but not rotten, a great listening experience with a lot of Fuzz and Metal in it. An honest approach, like their logo by Alice Villiers, that could be the main title of e.g. a trash horror movie as well.
The first song of the EP is “Stand By”. It begins with spacey particles, a constructive beat and a catchy riff. The guitar likes to hop between more clean licks and distorted ones, giving this Heavy Stoner feeling. There are several transitions, made by nice melodies. The voices are mostly used like an instrument doing a surface and help to even give a Blackened atmosphere with the cowbell at one point. For the first half, the overall impression is a fast one, before the pace gets slower in the second one.
What was only used at the end of song one is a main component in song two: the double bass. For “ON”, the band created a music video. In an exciting establishing shot, we get into a house of bricks and upstairs. The flickering of a TV is edited into it as well as dissolves, mirroring, repetitions and zooms are used. The riff is more Metal too, and around the middle of the song again there’s a change. In the video, projections help this shift, with coloring like fire and the sun of the “Apocalypse Now”-poster. As the final tones ring out, the band disappears and the camera leaves, as the door closes.
MAD ACT have this beautiful raw, pure, earthy handcrafted sound, that is so welcoming and makes think of e.g. the Doom Sessions, Sinistro, The Great Machine or Mothers Of The Land.