by Hank Madison

Track listing: Testimony, Do to Me, Arrested

While listening to Hank Madison's aptly titled Demonstration (it's a 3-song demo), I ask myself "Do you remember King's X?" If you¹re envisioning only a quasi-one-hit wonder fronted by a guy with a mohawk, you're not getting the point. Hank Madison's songs conjure up fond memories of edgy rock with the undeniable hook of interesting chord progressions, striking vocal harmonies and out-of-the-box timing. These days it's hard to convince an alt/rock band to stray from a standard rock song arrangement and delve into some music theory. Hank Madison does it sparingly, with taste and precision, adding just enough to make their songs distinctly their own.

Jack Higgins' drumming and Aquil Salih's bass create a neatly stitched rhythmic pocket, which they then proceed to mercilessly tear apart with their intensity. But while many players out there bang away and thump and grind, this duo has the chops to do it and keep things from going awry. "Testimony," which grabs me as the strongest of the three songs, has all the attack and swagger of Stone Temple Pilots' sharp time changes, not to mention a slight vocal similarity between Hank Madison's Tripp Lanier and early Weiland.

Demonstration is an EP that is ready to go straight onto a full length album. The thoughtful, methodic arrangements are well put together and the production top notch. And though the music is not entirely revolutionary, the band does exhibit a musical I.Q. You don¹t have to be a prodigy to listen to them, but if you're too ensconced in today's radio drivel this disc could fly right over your head. But maybe, just maybe, the music world today is discerning enough to grab hold of Hank Madison.

Posted on 1/16/02