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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mad at the World - Flowers in the Rain

Band: Mad at the World
Album: Flowers in the Rain
Year: 1988
Style: Christian Synthpop / New Wave
Similar Bands: Depeche Mode, Ultravox, Morrissey, Howard Jones
"One-Word" Review: creepy-operatic-gay-vampire-metal
Based Out Of: Southern California
Label: Frontline Records
 Flowers in the Rain - Cover & Record
Flowers in the Rain - Back & Record

Flowers in the Rain (1988)

  1. "Fearfully And Wonderfully" – 3:50
  2. "Flowers In The Rain" – 4:15
  3. "Why" – 4:36
  4. "Puppet Strings" – 4:17
  5. "No Mistakes" – 3:18
  6. "Wait" – 3:29 /
  7. "I Don't Wanna Go There" – 3:17
  8. "Faith Is A Perfect Road" – 3:36
  9. "In My Dream" – 3:51
  10. "Lovelight In The Midnight" – 5:08
  11. "This Lie" – 3:320
  12. "Dancing On Your Grave" – 5:58

Album Rating (1-10): 2.0

Members & Other Bands:
Roger Rose - Vocals, keyboards, guitars and drum programming, Producer
Randy Rose - Vocals, drum programming and electric bass (Rose, Mothership)
Mike Pendelton - Keyboards and electric guitar (Honky Mofos, Greg Jasperse)
Ray Rose - Acoustic guitar and electric bass

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of this band, but from their depressed name, and dismal album title, and their hair/clothings, I’m guessing it is some dark emo-new wave, even more sad and melancholy than the Cure. They look like the goth kids from South Park. I’d be surprised if it is anything but jaded synth new wave.

Album Review: Ok, they got me; turns out, this is Christian Rock played to the appeal of British dark new wave, or simply synth pop, minus the bouncy, jovial pop sound, plus a little extra metal. These are synth ballads used to get their various messages of god propaganda across. The only close give-a-way song title was “Faith is a Perfect Road.” Ugh.

"Fearfully And Wonderfully" starts off the album incredibly dated with an echoing drum intro and smooth, yet dark synth bass. The vocals are like that of a cartoon villain, fake British, perhaps a bit like Dracula. Already they start with the god stuff, saying how people are created as they are meant to be, all the while, the song had dark tones. The chorus and bridge do have catchy melodic hooks, which are hard to sing along to without smirking.
"Flowers In The Rain" features metal guitars that fit the metal scene of 1988. Again, the vocals are the same over the top, creepy old dude trying to sing like he’s from a 1880’s operatic British outfit. He’s hesitant in his singing pulling back at times to sound somewhat fay in contrast to the pseudo metal croon.
"Why" drops the evil dark tone, and is a story song about a bunch of people fighting sin. In this song, Roger sounds more comparable to Morrissey than anything else: vocals smoothly floating over the melody with the fake, over the top British accent. The tone is slight and peaceful, sounding like a Howard Jones song, minus the richness in Jones’ vocals. The end of the song features plucked violin strings and a falsetto challenge for Roger.
"Puppet Strings" starts out with some heavy metal riffs, and his vocals try to channel a deep, rich death metal sound, but fall short. The song just comes off as boring. Mid-song, Roger forgets the song’s style choice, and he lightly sings about jesus, which completely derails the momentum. There is a breakdown that has spoken word advert sound bites overlaid, which I imagine is supposed to seem political, but it is just cheesy.
"No Mistakes" is a piano ballad about a girl who was born as an unwanted pregnancy. Roger tries to validate her life with this touching crooning ballad, which again bears resemblance to Morrissey when he rolls the word “you” out over the symphonic musical background. The song fades out as he repeats the title of the track
"Wait" begins with a sinister organ, which might just be a normal church organ, but then the song actually picks up musical merit with a driving metal guitar melody. Then he tries his deep crooning style over the top, and the song becomes completely ruined. It seems like this is what metal singers should be like in his mind, but it is just a horrible, uncomplimentary style to…anything (I was going to limit it to the music, but really, anything paired is runined). Still, the music is descent and driving.

"I Don't Wanna Go There" creates a nice upbeat musical setting for his Morrissey styled lyrics, even the title could be a Morrissey song. The song is light and waif-like. It is piano based, and absent of any dark synth elements or metal guitars. In this song, he utters “Sex is a wonderful thing to share:” A sentiment that got them in trouble within the religious community for a song of there’s on a later album.
"Faith Is A Perfect Road" brings the vibe back to dark synth pop, combined with a grinding one-dimensional metal guitar. We are treated with his gay vampire vocals again. There are some shining musical moments, but overall, this is forgettable
“In My Dream" has a twinkinling cold synth effect at first, that transitions into an anti-angelic synth tone, and proceeds to devolve into a general sing-song melody supported synthpop song.
"Lovelight In The Midnight" is the musical equivalent of shaking up a can of faygo soda, and giving to someone else to open as a prank. It is a somewhat driving song, but it is all over the place, and actually kinda summarizes everything that they’ve presented on the album. It is metal guitars vs. the crooning dark vocals, plus some synth keyboards sprinkled on top like adding arsenic. It features a guitar solo, which is not really that bad. But it ends with a couple of guitar chords
"This Lie" oddly starts off with a munchkin-sung playground chant, adapted to pitch their own creepy message. The vocals don’t seem to fit over the music all that much until they hit the bridge. It is not too dark of a synth song, but his vocals still make it creepy, and you still can’t dance to it. All that said, it bears resemblance to Pet Shop Boys, unfortunately.
"Dancing On Your Grave" is just dark, cold and sparse. A frozen crystalline palace shattered with all the debris glittering painfully on the ground. Then you are running, thrust forward with driving drums and a guitar that chases you like the moon up in the sky. Ugh, then the sub-par Danzig vocals begin, and any sort of imagery is dissolved. I guess this is best described as a synth prog song.

Stand Out Track: There is no best track, but this one stood out: No Mistakes

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