Vs. Mad Max
Endocrine Music, 2009
REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/23/2009
The seamy dystopian air of Vs Mad Max chimes with the pulse of the Mad Max movies, which Don Bodin has tried to create a fictional soundtrack for, using his band alias The Fugitive Mind. He has been spot-on in delivering not only a possible soundtrack, but a musical vision of imagined themes on his previous efforts Greed, Lust & Cloning and Like Rabbits. And although this disc is based on an actual series of movies, it still has the sense of generality of his other efforts that speak for a theme than for a motion picture in particular. And he has aced it this time, too.
With its not-so-subtle theme, Vs Mad Max is brash and crude. Although Bodin could’ve taken a sophisticated path (like using moody orchestral arrangements to portray doom), he has chosen a style of music that is as frenzied as the concepts themselves. With a sound that can be best described as a mishmash of speed metal and techno, the paltry thirty-three minutes of this record throws in enough punches; the album goes for the effects rather than aiming for artistic swagger.
Unlike his other efforts, all the cuts here have vocals from Bodin himself, who sings as his British alter-ego Dread. And true to his name, he sounds like the crazy Keith Flint from The Prodigy – in fact, a bit too much like Flint, which risks him being called a rip-off. Unfortunately for Bodin, the aggressiveness on Vs Mad Max is made tawdry by the untidy “homemade” computerized production, which also gives the album a sense of a cheap Electropunk aspirant.
The songwriting, however, is much more exciting than the album’s fast-paced music. Even with its inescapably strong nuances of speed metal, Vs Mad Max is a surprisingly accessible record, especially to someone who isn’t particularly into this genre. The tight compositions are simple and have the same allure for pop as ‘80s goth did. The album is more fun and less dark than it appears to be, much like the Mad Max movies themselves.