Review: David Readman – Medusa
Self Release (August 8th, 2022)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
Singer David Readman was first brought to my attention when I was introduced to Pink Cream 69’s album, ‘Electrified‘, back in 1998. I became an instant fan but will admit my love for the band waned a little with every subsequent release, each new release not matching the heights of the previous album. I sporadically bought releases that featured him on vocals with mixed satisfaction. After a fourteen-year span from his first solo album, David has now returned with ‘Medusa‘, an album that took a year and a half to record due to the pandemic and featuring a plethora of top-tier musicians across the various tracks.
I am happy to report Mr. Readman has never sounded stronger and this is some of my favorite work from him. While his first solo album featured some great hard rock with some songs slightly laid back and groove-oriented, this release sees David kick it up a notch into metal.
That power becomes immediate with first track ‘Madame Medusa’, a song that harkens back to the heaviness of past PC69 classics like ‘Seas of Madness‘ and ‘Sonic Dynamite‘. Featuring a duet from Jessica Conte, their vocals compliment each other for an effective supersonic blast. There’s no letting up with Track 2’s ‘The Fallen’. Love the intense striking keyboards during the intro, it gets the blood pumping with the immediacy in its pacing. A song with no change in tempo but no desire to let up either. Four on the floor ferociousness!
The album slows just slightly with the most recent single ‘Generation Dead’, a heavy groove-based rocker about everything wrong with modern popular music. A call to arms to rise up and bring great rock music to the masses. Another tempo change comes with ‘Turned to Black’, but a slight slowdown is traded off with a thick and heavy chord structure that keeps the power levels high. It is at this point in the album that I come to realize this is, to my knowledge, the heaviest album of Readman’s career.
The album only begins to let up with Track 7’s ‘Mary Jane’, which is slightly out of place here as it is reminiscent of the laid back blues grooves that were a huge part of David’s first solo release. The other departure is the acoustic-based mid-tempo ballad ‘Summer Wine’, a song about lamenting the change in seasons. A solid but not remarkable effort.
The album ends strong with the epic ‘King Who Lost His Throne‘. Lots to take in with this song. A mandolin in the quieter parts broken by power chords and ferocity by David’s strongest vocal performance on the album. The verses show a softness to his approach broken by his intensity in the chorus. A great way to end a tremendous album.
Not much to criticize here. While all the guitarists do a phenomenal job, I do miss the guitar tone displayed on earlier PC69 releases. Also, while the production is strong, this album sounds slightly muddled and not as crisp when compared to his 2007 release, with the highs on this release not as prominent.
As a complete collection, this is my favorite album from him since PC69’s ‘Electrified‘. If you have followed that band or any of David’s releases with other bands, this needs to be added to your collection or playlists. My only regret is that I am just finding out now that this album was crowd funded. I would have absolutely contributed to such a worthy release. Sure to be one of the top albums of this year, be sure to give it a listen followed by an immediate purchase.