Professor And The Madman – ‘Disintegrate Me’ (Fullertone Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dom Daley   
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 04:00

Prof And The Madman artworkapproved image lrg 2013Who or what are Professor And The Madman, I hear you cry. Well, once you hear the opening first bars of 'Nightmare' it will all be crystal clear, and once the drumming begins you'll be delighted you dropped the needle on this one. Step forward Mr. Scabies and Mr. Gray. But, let's not brush over Alfie Agnew and Sean Elliott either, because this is something of a Supergroup, no doubt about it just; check out the rock family tree here: it's an incredible lineup. Once we're knee deep into the opening track, you'll be relieved that this isn't some space rock adventure from a band of loons from backwater USA: it's focused rock ‘n’ roll with all the vital ingredients that excite and make up top-notch records.

 

Sure, there are sounds that are experimental, like the Black Album was, perhaps, but, as far as introductions go, this is the bollocks.  It doesn't finish there either, because 'Space Walrus' might not be convincing you that this isn't space rock, ha ha! So, it might be lyrically out there, and there are some obvious Lennon and co comparisons, but, for me, what’s holding this together is the extraordinary sounds coming out of Gray's bass guitar. But, that wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the writers.  Who knows how or why, but that guy just puts so much into his playing that it has always stood out; and he might hit a million notes but, trust me, everyone is necessary.

 

Agnew and Elliott have recruited well with the rhythm section for this project they put together, and it’s fair to use the term “veterans” to describe this band, as there is an air of expertise you can certainly hear when playing songs like the spritely 'Wishes'.

 

There is a great energy to this record, as it is a melting pot of everything they've done over the years; they aren't afraid to marry the caustic guitar energy of 'Faces' with a power pop hook and melody, as they seem to effortlessly roll out song after song.  There is a freshness, as well - and it's not punk by numbers, that's for sure.

 

 

The band have a common thread running through the album in having David M. Allen to co-produce it with them. As well as managing to capture a superb energy, the record sounds modern and belies their senior years in this business; there are no hints of being jaded or at odds with the world: it sounds uplifting and fresh.  You have to dig into the lyrics to see what’s really going on.  The bulk of the songs were penned by the DI pair, but having the foresight to draft in the former Damned pair to drive this record and the songs they'd written is a masterstroke.

 

'The Mirror' sort of breaks up the rock and edge that had carried this album thus far by introducing piano and some fine balladry into the mix, but, fear not pop pickers, 'Machines' is up next and a master class in rhythm is clearly on display as the song motors along driven by Gray and Scabies… but let’s not ignore some fine guitar work as well.

 

Before the album bows out there is something of a curveball, as 'Demented Love Song' is countrified and Scabies sweeps the brushes over his snare as we all link arms and shout ye haw! But, fear not folks, the album ends by rocking out on with some 'Electroconvulsive Therapy' and the curtain is drawn on what has been a most excellent record and one that will please a lot of people.  Quite how live dates will work with half the band being in Orange County and the other half being in the UK - and with Gray being back in the Damned fold - God knows, but maybe one or two dates could be squeezed in somewhere because I'd love to get the chance to see these songs given a test drive in front of a living, breathing audience. 

 

I know its early, but this will be a contender and no doubt will make plenty of top ten albums of the year lists. I can say that with confidence because, play after play, another song just grabs me and something somewhere peaks my interest a little more, be it a lyric or bass run or change of tempo. 'Disintegrate Me' just keeps on giving.  Great work, gentlemen: an album that breaks out of its stereotype and expands even the maddest of minds.

 

‘Disintegrate Me’ is released on 23 February. You can get your copy HERE.

 

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