Saturday, March 22, 2014

MADYSIN HATTER "Pretty Little Fool"

(c) 2012 Independent Release

  1. Lightning Strikes Twice
  2. Rocky Road
  3. Pretty Little Fool
  4. Gypsy Rock
Madisyn Hatter--Vocals
Bob Lanzetti--Guitars
Brad Williams--Guitars
Michael League--Bass
Justin Stanton--Keys
Cooper Heffley--Drums

Madysin Hatter is one of those names that kind of popped up thanks to social media; she became a follower on Twitter, in fact, and contacted me about reviewing this, her latest EP.  Never being one to say no to new music, I told her to send it to me and I would give it a listen.  Honestly, not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised with this 4-track release almost immediately upon popping it in and pushing play.

Kicking off with some distorted guitars, "Lightning Strikes Twice" delivers a thick, heavy 70's classic rock groove that resonates throughout the track.  As soon as Hatter's higher end vocals slither in, the package is completed, with this song reminding me a bit of Stevie Nicks in both phrasing and tone, especially when the vocals are delivered in layers, mixed with a bit of Joan Jett as far as sass goes.    

"Rocky Road" continues in it's retro-rock stylings, with the Nicks reference being equally as strong here on this slower number.  Haunting vocally, the music remains solidly in a bottom-end heavy 70's groove with a really strong guitar section leading into the second chorus, although I am unsure whether it is Lanzetti or Williams who pulls off this section (or both).  

The title track finds Hatter picking the pace back up and also adding a bit of 80's sweetness to her vocals, but the 70's vibe continues in the music, with the keys finding themselves a bit more prevalent here.  The powerful bass work of League leads the way here (as it does on all 4 tracks), and the production is obviously designed to place an emphasis on this retro quality that the band pulls off remarkably well.  

The EP's closer, "Gypsy Rock", is my favorite track, as Hatter slips back into her Nicks tone vocally, and the band adds a bit of edge and attitude to the music.  Of course, the "gypsy" reference lends itself to the Nicks comparison, but the comparison doesn't end there, as the entire band has a strong handle on this type of sound.  I dare say that Fleetwood Mac, along with several other 70's classic rockers from Foreigner to Frampton to The Runaways to The Stones, could be found on the iPods or in the CD players of all the band's members.  I say with no reservations that Hatter and her band have a considerable amount of talent for this style of music, and this closing rocker leaves the listener a bit off-put that 16 minutes has passed and things are already at a close!  Give me just one more like this, please!

Packaging is simple, but at least its in an ACTUAL JEWEL CASE, which is a bonus for me!  There are three photos of Hatter, along with band and writing credits, but little else, which is to be expected on an independent release.  The music is what matters for most of the acts (and rightly so), so if an extra few dollars can be spent in the studio rather than at the printer, its hard to fault an artist for going the music route.

While not Earth-shattering, this is a solid independent release, and I would definitely be interested to hear what the talented Ms. Hatter comes up with next.  I really appreciate the 70's classic rock feel that has been cultivated here, as it is refreshing to hear a band just be who they are without trying to fit the flavor of the day.  I have a feeling this would be a cool act to catch live, as I imagine the entire band has a good time doing this type of music, which they obviously love.  I will tracking down her previous EP release as well.

Rating:  If you are into the arena rock classics of the 70's, I suspect you are going to find a LOT to like on this all-too-short EP.  Rock this at a solid 6.5, with the short length of the project being the main detractor here.  

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