Madcap – Stand Your Ground

Stand Your Ground

I took one glance at this record and realized that my whole outlook on life was about to change. With their shocking haircuts, adventurous song titles (“I Hate the Man”), and raucous attitude, Madcap are sure to set the whole world alight.
Ok, so that was overly tongue in cheek. In all honesty, I’ve avoided reviewing this record for as long as possible. As you’ve probably guessed, Madcap plays punk rock. Not only that, but they play So-Cal (Los Angeles) punk. It’s not that I hate punk, it’s just usually rather hard to review. I mean, after a while, even the Ramones get boring. But this record actually overcomes many of ye ole punk rock’s problems. Yeah, the lyrics get a bit repetitive (“we don’t care about your government! / we don’t care about your presidents! / we don’t care about your crucifix / we don’t care about your holy fuckin’ saints!”), but the songs themselves actually innovate quite a bit.
Rather than always racing to the finish, the band has no qualms with occasionally slowing down the tempo to almost standard speeds. The drumming is excellent the whole way through, adding way more texture then one would find on a NOFX LP. The bass alternates between flowing scales and fat, distorted thump. And while songs often rely on the three-chord system, the guitars sometimes duel in a way reminiscent of Fugazi (particularly the last half of opener “Die”).
The odd harmonics that introduce “Saturday” are a nice touch. The fantastic backup vocals help give the songs needed depth. Singer/guitarist Alfredo sings mostly in Spanish on acoustic closer “I Hate the Man,” and it somehow makes the song very charming. With hand percussion and wind chimes floating in the back, it’s a great end to a surprisingly great record.