Welcome to my blog!

UPDATE: Mediafire have suspended my account and locked my downloads. Having endured the tedium of re-uploading everything I had previously hosted on Mega Upload onto Mediafire earlier this year, I can't be arsed re-uploading everything again.

So please don't ask for things to be reuploaded!

I undertake this venture knowing that I don't have the spare time to do it, but feel that these artists NEED TO BE HEARD (please excuse my shouting!). Or is that I think I need to be heard? Or that there are (or have been) some great music blogs that have inspired me to wanna jump on the bandwagon? Probably all of the above??I hope you enjoy the blog. If I turn one person onto these bands that turned me on then it will all have been worth it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mad Season - Above

Following up on my Hater post, here is another Seattle "supergroup".

Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready met bassist John Baker Saunders while in rehab, and the two formed a long-term friendship. They put together a side project with Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin. McCready later brought in Alice In Chains vocalist Layne Staley, in the hope that being around clean musicians may inspire Staley to clean himself up. The band played a handful of shows in Seattle before entering the studio for two weeks to record their debut (and only) LP, Above.

Above is a surprisingly mellow album given the musical pedigree of the participants. While the band forge their own identity, Staley's vocals inextricably link the album to Alice In Chains. However, with the absence of the gargantuan riffs and unique vocal melodies employed by Alice In Chains, the album is arguably closer to Alice In Chains' acoustic Sap and Jar of Flies EPs.

Opener Wake Up is mellow, psychedelic, and almost jazzy for the first four minutes, before heating up for the guitar solo and winding back down for the last two or so minutes. X-Ray Mind lifts the tempo, momentarily, before their best known song, the mellow and country-ish River of Deceit, subdues the mood.

Artificial Red is a slow blues tune, written on-stage during the bands first performance. Lifeless Dead and I Don't Know Anything are heavier rock numbers, the latter arguably closest stylistically to Alice In Chains.

The folky Long Gone Day is based around upright bass, and features the vocals of Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan. The instrumental November Hotel is the most up-tempo track, giving the band their first real opportunity to flex their musical muscles. All Alone is another atmospheric and mellow piece, featuring Staley's vocals atop a organ drone.

The band played live after recording the album, but commitments to their main bands limited further opportunities to perform and record. The band later reformed with Mark Lanegan handling vocals, metamorphosing into the band Disinformation. However, this band suffered the same commitment problems as Mad Season, and slowly drifted apart.

Saunders and Staley later died from heroin overdoses, in 1999 and 2002, respectively.

Mad Season - 1995 - Above

1. Wake Up
2. X-Ray Mind
3. River of Deceit
4. I'm Above
5. Artificial Red
6. Lifeless Dead
7. I Don't Know Anything
8. Long Gone Day
9. November Hotel
10. All Alone


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