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Madhouse - Bad Habits Award winner

Madhouse
Bad Habits
by Mike McMahan at 12 April 2021, 2:14 PM

The first review that I wrote for Metal Temple back in 2019 was for a band I had never heard of. The band was Austria’s Sleaze/Glam Metal masters MADHOUSE, and that review was for their first album, “Money Talks Bullshit Walks”. I loved the record, then and now, commenting that it was refreshing to hear a band pay homage to the music from the eighties, without being a cartoon of the era or poking fun at the material. Since that first release, I have championed the band hard and heavy (no pun intended, guys. I swear it).

Some things have changed since that point. Guitarist Freddie Hart and drummer Ken Shuri have parted company with the band, first and foremost, being replaced by Thommy Black and Casey Jean Eiszenman, respectively. The new release, which on first reports I had, was to be called “Shemale Kung Fu”, is now known as “Bad Habits”. The music feels somewhat more seasoned and mature, on this second album… but one thing that has not changed, in the least, is these guys will absolutely melt your face. They are about raw, full bore eighties-style Sleaze and Glam Metal, and they play it fucking well, offering no apologies for it along the way.

This new release grabbed me from the opening bell. “Bang Bang” is a heavy hitting tirade of a song. Power chords and swaggering vocals abound, and the band sounds as if they are trying their best to make a statement of absolute authority. The lead guitar work on the song is quite good, and Lovelace has a menace in his vocal that immediately put me in mind of Stephan Pearcy, of RATT fame, but maybe a little heavier in its presentation. Dee hasn’t lost a step, and Eiszenman’s drum work is sublime.

“Sick Of It All” follows, and if there were any doubt after the opener, this would have cured it. The song is merely a continuation of great material for these guys, with the partially Freddie Hart penned lyrics spilling out of Lovelace as if he had been waiting all his life for this song.

The album barely lifts its foot from the pedal throughout. There are slower moments, specifically in the powerful “Pure Oxytocin”, but nothing qualifies as a true ballad. There are acoustic trimmings in the closer, “Love To Hate”, but make no mistake. It is a straight up rocker. “Money Talks Bullshit Walks” hinted at brilliance. This album, with its better production value and more mature songwriting, solidifies it.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Bang Bang
2. Sick Of It All
3. First Lick Then Stick
4. I Walk The Ponygirl
5. Itch To Scratch
6. Atomic Love
7. Rodeo
8. Bad Habits
9. Live It Up
10. Pure Oxytocin
11. Fake It Till You Make It
12. Metal Creed
13. Say Nothing At All
14. Tourette Brunette
15. Love To Hate
Lineup:
Tommy Lovelace – Vocals
Mikky Stixx – Guitar
Thommy Black – Guitar
Rickey Dee – Bass
Casey Jean Eiszenman – Drums
Record Label: ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records
     


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Edited 16 June 2021
 

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