Review: Madman’s Lullaby – Nocturnal Overdrive Part 2
MR Records (April 21st, 2022)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
Madman’s Lullaby are back to complete what could be considered the second half of their album ‘Nocturnal Overdrive‘. This EP comes nearly a year after the release of their Part 1 EP. In all honesty, I had no idea they had released a Part 1. I decided it would only be fair to listen to Part 1 first and then compare/contrast it with the second half.
To my ears, there doesn’t seem to be a distinctness to each EP. Songs could easily be swapped, meaning ‘Nocturnal Overdrive‘ is just an album that was split in half and released a year apart from one another. I’m not sure what the business model is behind releasing two halves of a whole album one year apart. I’m sure streaming is not an issue, but this certainly can’t help CD sales. Unless you’re a die-hard fan, most people won’t pay full price for a CD with 5 songs on it only to do it once again a year later for another 5 songs. It’s been reported that the band’s drummer was hit hard by COVID and believed himself to be near death. Speculation would leave me to believe the collection was split to give the drummer time to recover and finish the album.
With that in mind, I’ll focus this review strictly on the five songs of Part 2. Hands down the best track is ‘Falling’, an up-tempo rocker reminiscent of the band The Cult with a pounding rhythm and strong, solid guitar work from Mr. Brett. It’s also a song that has the best instrumental balance and isn’t bogged down by an out of alignment production (more on that later). Opening track ‘Thick and Thin’ should have just been called ‘Thick’. It would have accurately described the vibe of the song. A heavy and thick groove drenched in dark, moody lyrics about regretting a relationship’s end. These are my two favorites off the EP.
The other songs range from just ok to uninspired. ‘Inside Out’ has a heavy, blues-based groove and goes from verse to chorus without a bridge and with little fanfare. I didn’t realize where the chorus was until after it had passed. ‘Tell Me I’m Right’ is the lone ballad. It’s well performed, but not very moving or memorable. ‘Ask for Nothing’ makes the same mistake as ‘Inside Out’ by omitting a bridge, making it feel like something is missing. That being said, I’m not sure a bridge would have helped. It’s my least favorite track and comes across as plodding and insipid.
Production-wise the sound could certainly use some improvement. It’s overall bass heavy, which somewhat diminishes the guitar and vocals. To my ears, it sounds like certain songs were either recorded or mixed by different people. Whoever did ‘Falling’ should have done the entire EP. What I can say is that fans of Part 1 will certainly dig this. For my money, all you need to own is two of the five songs.