Prepared For a Nightmare – Mayflower Madame (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

The fact that we are using the term post-punk as a description tells us one of two things. Either it tells us how concisely the term describes a certain type of music or it suggests that it is so vague a term that it doesn’t have any real use. Actually both are true. The term suggests a certain artistic otherness that wanders in varying amounts between pop and rock, mainstream and underground but it is also so broad a term as to allow for a wide range of variation within its ranks.

We may have been bandying the term around for forty years now…has it really been that long…but Mayflower Madame  fit perfectly into everything that it suggests. In fact they cover so much ground, musically speaking, that they might just be the perfect reference point for the post-punk sound in the modern era.

Prepared For a Nightmare is everything previous singles Swallow and Vultures hinted at, a canvas of gothic noir, drifting psychedelia, louche shoegazery and solid rock swagger upon which they paint more deft and delicate sonic hues. Ludwig Meider references First and Last and Always with its brooding, hammering bass lines and dark, interlocking music textures and The Night Before is built of the same chiming shards of guitar and shifting atmospheres which The Cure called home in the early days.


And whilst they know where they have come from they also know where they are going and tracks like Goldmine and the aforementioned Swallow seem like the obvious step forward as they shimmer in the half-light, feeling more sepia toned than noirish.

If you like your alt-rock very alt- indeed, if you remember the classic days of goth as being a bit pretentious, if you want to find a band which changed your musical world like perhaps Bauhaus or  The Cure did back in the day, or if you are young enough to still be looking for your own musical lightening bolt moment…Mayflower Madame are a good contender on all counts.

 

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