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Madeira Press, Articles, & Reviews Review of Sandstorm

Reviewed by: Emma Jade Gunn

There is something about me you need to know. If I were in Indianapolis I would skip the Indy 500 and go see The Madeira.

The Madeira are an Indianapolis band and they are so freaking good you get the best end of the deal if you trade your Indy tickets for one of their concerts. That's important information because, let's face it, most people would foolishly pick the Indy 500 and that would be a huge mistake. Trust me on this; I drive a classic Corvette Stingray. If I think The Madeira are better than cars driving in circles, it's abso-emma-tively the real deal.

The Madeira are:

  • Patrick O'Connor - Rhythm Guitar
  • Todd Fortier - Bass
  • Ivan Pongracic - Lead Guitar
  • Dane Carter - Drums

How so few musicians can make such a huge sound is remarkable in and of itself. Kind of like the cars on the Indianapolis Speedway, feeling it is better than watching it. Sandstorm blasting your aural canals is like driving that Vette counterclockwise around the circuit yourself.

There is no such thing as too much good music. Of course, there's no such thing as too many fast cars, either. Well, what's a girl to do? She does the obvious: Grab The Madeira's Sandstorm and shift into a higher gear. These guys generate enough heat to replace the feel of tight curves, perfect shifts and miles of desert highways.

We can't all have a race car like Parnelli Jones, but we can pick up The Madeira's Sandstorm. Listen and be forewarned, I told you so!

Sun And Sand - Boys, can I swipe this title and song for my own personal identity? I can call myself Sunny Sandy Gunn! It has everything ... gentle guitars at the beginning are everything I need to behave myself. It's soft. I want to do soft! It's short ... uh, I'm short, too! It's perfect! Okay, I'm not too good at perfect, but with Sun And Sand maybe I can get there. Fantab song, I love it, I need it, I will abide by it. XOXO, Sunny Sandy.

Sandstorm! - Sirocco! Haboob! OhMyGodItsDustAndWind! If you've ever been in a desert sandstorm you can truly appreciate this tune. Fast, hot, biting, test-your-mettle guitars and drums that will drive you straight to the end of the parched plain and back again. Sandstorm! picks you up and tosses you in the air, then sends you skittering off the top of the wind into the abyss. I've been in a major sandstorm and The Madeira pegged it like a Lite-Brite toy in the hands of an anal-compulsive ten-year-old! Muy caliente!

Cordoba - Like the city of the same name, Cordoba is going to stand up against anything time and nature can throw at it and not just survive, but elevate everything in its shadow to supremacy. Whoa and wow! Are they playing at dawn with ancient ghosts backing their rhythms? Could be. Could be. I swear there is a section where they're doing roughly a gadzillion beats every second. How the hell do they do that and still make it all so crisp and powerful? Amazafreakingzine.

El Caliph - Middle Eastern sounds again redefine and redelight the senses on this fast-paced track. Toss this on the loudspeakers at the Indy 500 and I might go just so I can watch all of the drivers doing drumming slaps on their steering wheels as they round the track. Oops! One slap too many and we have a pile up, but, baby-oh-baby, what a pile up! Rack it, stack it, make it rock to the very end! Deeeelish!

Burning Mirage - The best mirage I've ever seen wasn't in the Mojave where Kelso Dunes reach sandy heights of 650 feet. The best mirage wasn't at the depths of the Death Valley, although that memory is more than enough to make me flinch. Nope. The best mirage I've ever seen was in, of all places, eastern Oregon which is almost as surprisingly weird and wonderful as this song. You gotta believe me on this because the one thing I love as much as a sandy beach is a desert and I've seen the best of them from the Great Basin to the Sonora. The best song about mirages is this one. Perfecto!

Rogue Wave - Damn! I got hit by this wave more than once! It wracked me, stacked me, blacked me out and made me whine for help from Poseidon and any other God of the Deep I could summon. I want to know something, though. How in the name of all that is wet and wild do The Madeira Madmen make such masochistic monopolies of musical magnitude? They are freaking rocking, socking, locking, tic-tocking, absodelightfully crushing my brain waves in the Most Fantastic Way! Oh. Oh. Keep it coming, baby, this is something I can do forfreakingever. Promise me you won't stop!

The Secret Route - There is a secret route Thor, my beloved Stingray, follows whenever I have a full tank. Honest. It can't help itself. It just starts and goes where it wants and that's a good, good thing - just like this song. I must have hit rewind and listened to the first eight seconds at least a dozen times before I was able to let the rest of the song rip. Hallelujiah Happy! The rest of The Secret Route is every bit as incredible as the opening!

Desert Drums - I confess. I have a thing for drummers. I also confess I have a thing for deserts. In fact, I confess that drummers in the desert are my favorite dessert. Ergo, cogito, sum. I think, therefore I am. I am in adoration with Desert Drums, that is. The drum solo that begins at 1:42 is infreakingcredible. I actually named my car Thor after the God of Thunder so you know I really get off on thundering drums. Desert Drums took me to heights I have never been before and left me whimpering for more. Yes, I said whimpering. That's something from the girl that cut her teeth on Gene Krupa. Do ... Not ... Miss ... Desert ... Drums.

Ricochet - I was there the day a family friend ricocheted a 30-30 bullet off the hood of a '99 Chevy Silverado. Did some major damage to that Storm Gray paint, I'll tell you that for sure. Ricochet is a song that brings to mind the expression on everyone's face at that very moment. Intense. Dramatic. The guitars could peel the flesh off Godzilla! The drums ... well, let's just say the 30-30 dude was lucky someone didn't drum his noggin with the same uber-hot intensity of Ricochet's drums! Some friends you just don't need, you know? I've been hiding my Vette from said "friend" ever since.

Crescent Moon - Ah, The Madeira are Raiders of the Crescent Arc. Coolness. Crescent Moon is cool, too. Seriously cool ... with lyrical guitars that melt your bones and turn your brain to liquid thoughts. The drum licks are Madeiralightful. What we have here is just under four minutes of purrfection. Yum.

Across The Dunes - Here we go on another of those heart thrashing journeys through sky high sands and scorching sun. The Madeira make you sit up and take notice this time with strong, strong - I said STRONG - picking and, again, those amazing drums. Faster than a Vette pacing the Indy, I cannot and will not hold my breath for this because I have to breathe deep, deep, deeply or pass out from the intensity. Baby, if you can dance to this song, call me. I have a very special place in that thrashed heart for you.

Express To Baghdad - Crossing the threshold from a distant sound, Express To Baghdad then gains momentum until it swooshes past you with a whir of steel against steel. The first few seconds of Express To Baghdad are worth the price of the CD. The Madeira have a gift of drama and this track uses that gift to the Xtreme! Xtremely hot guitars and Xtremely tight drums equal blistering sizzle. The only thing better than Express To Baghdad is to play it at top volume as I hit that flat straight stretch of highway in a classic Vette.

The Oasis - A languid jazzy treatment makes you smile with that look you get after a long, wonderful night of pleasure. This is, indeed, The Oasis of slow, mouthwatering and truimphant enchantment. I would write more, but I'm busy. BUSY. Someone please put out that Do Not Disturb Sign because Em is busy. Catch you later.

Later: Okay, I'm going to be fine now that I have Sandstorm. For awhile I thought perhaps I died and was sword dancing in Heaven, but now I know it was just The Madeira rocking my world. Man, they DO rock. They do, they really, really rock me in the best of ways. Yes, they're a heady experience. Get Sandstorm. I mean it. Don't miss it.

Emma Jade Gunn

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