UZI - 2009 - Madhouse
2. American Dream
3. Mutha's Knockin'
5. Do What I Do
6. Away From My Heart
7. Raise Hell
8. From The Gutter
9. Wreckerd Man
10. For The Money
Time for number 2 of the Eönian bag of records: UZI with Madhouse!
What an introduction they give! "Madhouse" kicks off with a Metallica-like riff (think "Battery"), drawing it into the spoken word first verse of the title track.
That's not the only true metal link there is though, because the music is hard and well-produced and has many touching points with some of heavy metal's greatest, but they're rock n' roll as hell at the same time. Brute rhythm tracks plough through the first song like a bulldozer, and one hell of a solo adds the additional drive. Step inside this madhouse honey!
UZI is here to tear us apart, because "American Dream", sleazier than the previous song, is just as powerful. You can just sense the energy that's just below surface (mostly in the either over-active or over-produced drumming, I don't know which one it is, but I don't really care since it sounds good).
"Madhouse" is full of trademark riffs and song lines, but drives a vibe that makes UZI stand out between the rest. If there's anything sounding more authentic than these guys, I'd love to know...
The following power track is "Mutha's Knockin'", which would be an awesome sing-along song if it weren't for the tempo. A little too fast to catch on, but what a great song this is. Three down and it's looking very promising.
With "Rocker", UZI is definitively accepting the label "cliché", but do they ever feel comfortable in that position. With a stadium-ready attitude seeping through every single riff, verse and solo, it's a shame that UZI is not as well-known as they act musically.
"Do What I Do" does nothing more than the first four songs, and even if there's nothing to make it stand out, it's not a bad tune either. Just confirming what these guys do best I guess...
The only obvious link to another band is clear right from the start of "Away From My Heart". For some reason, I can't shake the feeling that Skid Row could have played this one also (although it wouldn't be one of their better songs). Not exactly a topper, this one.
"Raise Hell" takes a different path than what I've heard so far, not in terms of energy and style, but the production is just completely different. It's not a bad thing, but it does feel a bit strange when the sound of a band changes halfway through an album.
Immediately after that, "From The Gutter" sounds a lot sharper and edgier than "Raise Hell", and picks up again where "Do What I Do" left us. A little more grit, a lot more street feel and a lot more anger in the lyrics make this one to check out more than once.
"Wreckerd Man" demonstrates how well UZI masters the old school sound. Production turned down again, much like "Raise Hell", a punkier chorus and a more thomping verse line give a feel that dates back to the early Hollywood days, even though it was recorded a decade later. Nice, but maybe a little too long.
"For The Money" finishes off with what "Madhouse" started. Big-ass intro, sounding very second-generation glam, and surprisingly adding some brass instruments in the mix. It's not as well-placed here as it was with Sweet Sybil, but it doesn't destroy the song either.
UZI has a steady style of music, but not all pieces of their puzzle have fallen into place for me. Maybe if I hear the album some more, it'll all make sense. For now, it's just a decent piece of work that's worthy of your attention...