Pulse Prophets, Madhouse | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Pulse Prophets, Madhouse 

(Self-released, CD)

The cover art of Madhouse, by central Vermont's Pulse Prophets, shows the Earth in a state of disarray, with missiles, fires, mushroom clouds and a giant Band-Aid holding the planet together. Its flipside depicts Saddam, Osama and Dubya as the speak-, hear- and see-no-evil monkeys. So what should we do when the inmates are running the asylum? Hit the dance floor, apparently.

Madhouse opens with the bouncy "Midas Touch." Bolstered by fantastic guitar from Rudy Dauth, the song has a clean, Steely Dan funkiness. "Everything I touch turns to music, everything I hold turns to gold from the soul," sings vocalist-songwriter Elijah Krantz. Well, maybe not everything; Madhouse has a couple of clunkers. Still, most of it is pretty damn good.

Krantz's singing is earnest, if not exactly soulful. He employs different styles as the album progresses, complementing the music more often than not.

"Funk Hop" serves up a rugged party groove, with vocals that call to mind the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Kiedis. "I don't want to sound like I might be perverted, but you can come dressed like a Catholic school girl, mini-skirted," Krantz sings in a line that would make the more famous front man proud.

"Disco Party" is a piece of fluff, with almost throwaway lyrics. But it does feature a delicious keyboard solo that references the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. This bit of musical mischief even makes Krantz crack up mid-tune.

But not everything is a laughing matter. As evidenced by their choice in album art, Pulse Prophets have strong opinions about the world and are not too shy to voice 'em.

Current U.S. military engagements provide plenty of lyrical fodder. According to "Tell the People," war can only be understood by those directly involved. Krantz makes a persuasive argument, but unfortunately his message is stronger than the music.

More successful are "What's a Man?" and "Bless the World," which contain strong melodies and powerful prose. Krantz channels hip-pop sensation Michael Franti on each, describing a world on the precipice of disaster.

"Who would Jesus bomb, Bush or Saddam?" Krantz inquires on the album's title track. "Bless the World" suggests the answer is neither. Here, the singer implores God to bestow grace upon friends and enemies alike.

"People want to party, but we've got to heal," states the electro-dub number "What's a Man?" Madhouse does a fine job of exploring both options.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Jake Rutter

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2021 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Advertising Policy  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation