Madeira Press, Articles, & Reviews
SurfRockMusic.com Reviews Sonic Cataclysm
No matter how you choose to say it, "Carpe temporis punctum. Audi potestatem Sonus Cataclysmus" or "Seize the moment. Listen to the power of Sonic Cataclysm," this CD is a flood, a tidal wave and, yes, a cataclysm of sound.
Sonic Cataclysm was recorded live at The Historic Melody Inn, located in Indianapolis, IN, on December 6th and 7th, 2013. I truly envy the people who were in attendance at the inn those nights. The only thing I can envision as being more enticing than this CD is to have been in attendance, too.
Sonic Cataclysm unveils a treasure trove of sound. The Madeira are on stage, so you know the CD is going to be great. The audience agrees. From start to finish they never fail to show their appreciation. And, as the audience will attest, Sonic Cataclysm is filled with mega E-X-C-I-T-E-M-E-N-T. Let's break It down:
X = X-tra - Talk about an X-tra bang for the buck, there are 20 tracks on Sonic Cataclysm, 19 of which are The Madeira tearing it up. How X-tra buck-banging is that?!
C = Coolness - The Madeira + Sonic Cataclysm = Coolness. Hey, dudes and dudettes, I'm talking Coolnessto the max.
I = Irrepressible - There's no way to contain the total enjoyment you'll get from Sonic Cataclysm. The fun is absolutely Irrepressible.
T = Tenacity - The Madeira attack their music with the same Tenacity as a shark attacking its prey. There is no easing of their desire to present the ultimate live performance.
E = Electrifying - Delivering a high-powered jolt to the synapses, Sonic Cataclysm will zap your senses like a bolt of electricity. It's Electrifying. Tesla coil is optional.
M = Millisecond - I figure it takes one Millisecond for the brain to assimilate what the ears are hearing and one Millisecond to be grooving on what the brain has assimilated.
E = Emblazon - Sonic Cataclysm will Emblazon a bright and fiery mark in the annals of live surf and instro albums ... and non-live surf and instro albums.
N = No B-sides - There are absolutely No B-sides on this album. The Madeira know how to put on a great show. They know that B-sides are best left on the cutting room floor.
T = Techniques - These guys have more skillful Techniques than you can imagine. Trying to count the number of Techniques they possess would be like trying to count the number of times the Earth can fit into the sun.
The Madeira are:
Patrick O'Connor - Rhythm Guitar
Todd Fortier - Bass
Ivan Pongracic - Lead Guitar
Dane Carter - Drums
Introduction - The emcee introduces The Madeira. He's fired up. The crowd is fired up. Everyone knows the cataclysm that's about to come their way.
Tribal Fury - Opens with some kick-ass guitar picking and sets the stage for all that is to follow. Grab your bootstraps because you're in for a wild ride. Very powerful and intoxicating opening number.
Everybody Up! - Neat drum stuff gets Everybody Up! underway. Someone shouts, "Everybody Up!" and things kick into overdrive. The Madeira's potent, hard-hitting guitar and drum attack would easily wake up a platoon of Marines at reveille. Semper Fi.
Surf Fidelis - Speaking of the Marines and Semper Fidelis, Surf Fidelis is "Always Faithful" to surf. If the Marines listen to this one, I don't think they'll want to use amphibious landing crafts to hit the beach. I believe surfboards will be their choice of the day.
Cities of Gold - Four bars of captivating, rhythmic drumming and guitar picking at the beginning quickly resolves into a very lofty tune. Cities of Gold would have been a great theme song for the ancient Aztecs, especially if they were surfers.
Witch Doctor - Todd Fortier opens Witch Doctor with a cool, rhythmically possessed bass riff, almost as if he is evoking Patrick O'Connor's haunting, tremolo laden guitar chords. Now the mood is set for what is to become an eerie midnight festival of mayhem and madness. Witch Doctor is the perfect snake oil for whatever ails you.
Jungle Drums - Dane Carter's hypnotic drumming lets you know that you're in the jungle, but you quickly realize that this is a friendly jungle with friendly people. Ivan Pongracic's guitar playing is majestic. No one could play music this beautifully and be anything but friendly. Jungle Drums is an exquisite piece of music. It's beyond description.
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 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. Ya 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. Burning Mirage es Muy Perfecto!
Macarena - With a deicidedly Spanish flavor, Macarena is filled with passion and power. This one shouldn't be confused with lyrical versions bearing the same name. The Madeira's Macarena is an incredible piece of instrumental music. Once again Ivan Pongracic reaches for the stars with his magnificent guitar playing. Magnificence is a Madeira hallmark and it's clearly evident on Macarena.
Caravela - Dane Carter's drumming lights the fire in Caravela, a brand new, never-recorded song. Wet and wild, the men of Madeira take us on a spirited ride aboard a caravel. This little sailing ship doesn't need a motor.Caravela will fill its sales with enough power to blow any speedboat out of the water.
Farthest Shore - Have you ever had one of those dreams where you're trying to reach safety, but can't quite get there? No matter how hard you struggle, safety is always out of reach. Farthest Shore haunts the hell out of me ... in a cool, albeit scary, way. It reminds me of those dreams. Something is chasing me. I don't know what it is. Maybe a shark. If only I could just reach shore.
Night Rider - A tribute to Dick Dale, the guys pay homage to "The King of the Surf Guitar" with a smoking-hot rendition of Night Rider. They definitely do Dick Dale proud.
Mar Vista - Wow and double wow. If you dig guitars, you're going to absolutely love this track. Mar Vista has some of the most breathtaking guitar picking you're going to hear. I used to live on the Oregon coast, at the edge of the beach. Now I live 70 miles inland. If I'd had Mar Vista to accompany my view of the sea, I never would have left my ocean shack.
The Saracen - Hot damn, what a track! Dane Carter's machine gun drumming, Ivan Pongracic's high-velocity double picking, Todd Fortier's driving bass and Patrick O'Connor's pulsating rhythm add a whole new meaning to instrumental music. This is fast, wild, white-knuckle stuff. Warning: Do not play The Saracen while driving. You'll lose control, bounce off of a telephone pole, roll down a 100-foot embankment into the ocean, look around and wonder what happened.
Tangaroa - What a beautiful song! The Madeira pay an exquisite tribute to Tangaroa, the Māori god of the sea. Gentle and peaceful, Tangaroa envelops you in the warmth of a loving hug and a gentle caress. The languid guitar has me so relaxed I could easily dissolve into a puddle of human jelly.
Wreak Havoc! - Good God Almighty, every single time I think The Madeira have outdone themselves, they prove me wrong. Wreak Havoc! kicks ass. Wreak Havoc! takes no prisoners. Wreak Havoc! is in-your-face, high-velocity, double-picked dynamite. What amazes me is that this far into their set, The Madeira still have this much energy in reserve. Had they played Wreak Havoc! as their opening number, they would have blown out the speakers, blown out the lights and blown out the minds of the audience, all within three minutes.
Undercurrents - Very pretty. Beautiful, in fact. When we think of undercurrents, we usually think of something that is dangerous, like undertows. Undercurrents is anything but dangerous. It's absolutely magnificent in its beauty. Ivan Pongracic's lofty guitar lifts us out of the water to surf the skies where eagles soar.
Ricochet - This is an honest-to-goodness true story. The names have been omitted to protect the innocent. 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.
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!
Intruder - Somewhat Spanish, somewhat Spaghetti, Intruder opens innocently. But, for some reason, you get the feeling that something is going to happen. You don't know what or when. You just know something is amiss. Then, at 1:40, all hell breaks loose. An intruder has broken into your house. An intruder has broken into your CD player. An intruder has broken into your mind. The Intruder is The Madeira, the mind-blowing, mind-intruding Madeira. Power, power and more power. The Madeira just keep pouring it on. How in the hell can these men keep dishing it out with this kind of ferocity? Intruder is the last song on the CD and it was the last song of their live set. Where do they get that kind of energy? Ivan Pongracic, Todd Fortier and Patrick O'Connor must have arms like Popeye. Dane Carter must have arms and legs like Bluto. This one has to be heard to be fully appreciated. Amazing!
Have you ever heard the old question, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?" I live in the forest and have often pondered that question. I believe I finally have the answer. Yes, the tree makes a sound, even if no one is around. Why? I'm holding Sonic Cataclysm in my hand. This CD has a ton of latent power just waiting to be released. It's bound to make one helluva sound when it hits the CD player. It doesn't matter whether anyone is around or not, there will be sound. Some very good sound! The tree? Any time a 50-ton fir tree hits the ground ... well ... I've shared my thoughts. Now you be the judge. Get your hands on Sonic Cataclysm and listen for yourself. It just might answer one of the world's most perplexing questions.