Well, it is finally here. For me and the rest of you Mad Caddies fans out there, the release of their new disc, “Dirty Rice” could not have come any sooner. It has been 7 years since they released any new material, so this album has been long overdue. Over the years, what has impressed me the most is the wide array of influences that the Mad Caddies pull from, including punk, ska, reggae, Dixieland jazz, and even pirate music. Furthermore, this eclectic blend never sounds cheap or gimmicky, but rather keeps the listener guessing on how their sound will morph on the next album.
As previously mentioned, if you have been a Mad Caddies fan for a while, you know that their sound has definitely changed over the years. If you are expecting “Dirty Rice” to be another “Quality Soft Core” or “Duck and Cover,” then you will be sorely disappointed. As a whole, this album is in line most with their previous release, “Keep it Going.” Let’s see how this one stacks up:
- Brand New Scar- I must admit. The first time I heard this song, I was not impressed. It seemed like the kind of song that you would put at the end of an album to close things out. After listening to this one a few more times, I kind of dig it; like a nice drinking song. It seems to pick up where “Keep it Going” left off. Grade: B
- Love Myself- Very few do the punk ska as well as the Mad Caddies. This follows nicely after the slower first song. Rock guitars with the melodic voice of Chuck Roberston. What can be better? Nice job boys! Grade: B+
- Down and Out- This is a slower one, but the horns are really prominent on this one(which I like!) There is also a pretty sweet piano solo around the 2 minute mark. Grade: B
- Shoot Out the Lights- Another slower ditty, but this one has more of an ‘island feel to it.’ I like it. Grade: A
- Dangerous- After slowing things down in the last two numbers, “Dangerous” is a little bit more raw and in your face. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. Grade: B
- Bring it Down- More punk rock! Is that a touch of Dixieland? Not one of my favorite tracks on the disc, but not bad. Grade B-
- Shot in the Dark- “Shot in the Dark” is straight outta New Orleans. Nice use of horns, piano and organs. Love this tune! Grade: A
- Little Town- This one has a little ‘island’ mixed with Mardi Gras sound as well. Sounds like I should be on a cruise listening to this one. Grade: A
- Airplane-Probably the closest thing to a ‘ska’ song on the whole album. Just a great song. Probably my favorite on the whole album. Grade: A
- Callie’s Song- Oh wait, an even more ska sounding song. Not too punky, but rather, a nice jam. Grade: B+
- Back to the Bed- A nice rockin’ soung. It is alright Grade: B-
- Drinking the Night Away- In typical fashion, “Drinking the Night Away” is an acoustic number to end the album. Nothing special here, but great sound to finish the drink you started while listening to “Brand New Scar” Grade: B
Overall: When I first previewed this album, I had my doubts. After waiting 7 years, I kind of expected some resemble to an older Caddies album. I should have known better, as all of their albums sound completely different. Overall, this is a pretty solid effort with great use of organs and horns. Chuck’s vocals are always pretty great as well. What I enjoyed most about this record (as with all of their albums) is that all of their songs sound different from one another. I fore see enjoying this album the more I listen to it, but as if this review, I give it a solid B+.