"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Cirkus - "Let The Madness Begin" (CD)

Cirkus - "Let The Madness Begin" CD cover image

"Let The Madness Begin" track listing:

1. Let The Madness Begin (1:09)
2. Trashy (3:34)
3. Hard Headed Woman (3:53)
4. Everlong Lasting (6:01)
5. Chexx Mate (4:24)
6. Fuck Em N' Flee (3:23)
7. Walking Disease (4:36)
8. Crazy (3:59)
9. Get It On (3:09)

Reviewed by on September 8, 2009

"If you like the formulaic songs of 80’s glam that focus mainly on sex and rock 'n roll, you may enjoy the tunes on 'Let The Madness Begin.' They’re all pretty much the same repetitive mix…"

Being an 80’s kid who grew up on poppy, often mindless upbeat tunes, I’m not ashamed to admit that I like glam metal. Big hair, makeup, and even bigger guitar shreds and screeching vocals all add up to fun times for a music fan like me. But even I wasn’t that impressed with the first full album release by Cirkus, a Swedish band that sounds like a combination of all the Sunset Strip bands you’ve ever heard, and an amateur version of Poison.

"Let The Madness Begin" opens with a track that welcomes you to a carnival, complete with creepy animated voices and the traditional sounds of one of those cheap sideshow acts you expect to see at Coney Island. It’s sort of fun, if cheesy, but unless Cirkus is trying to make fun of their own work, it has nothing to do with the music found on the rest of the album.

If you like the formulaic songs of 80’s glam that focus mainly on sex and rock 'n roll, you may enjoy the tunes on "Let The Madness Begin." They’re all pretty much the same repetitive mix, even if the intros vary things up a bit by alternating between acoustic and bluesy guitar. But after that, every song is nearly identical in tempo and style. There is a nice little saxophone addition to "Chexx Mate," and as far as Sunset Strip sounding tunes go, this one isn’t bad.

The guitar work is of the obligatory glam shred style, but it’s by no means something to write home about. Though most of the songs run right around three to four minutes, "Everlong Lasting" stretches out to six, just to provide an opportunity for a guitar solo. Unfortunately, it ends up being a longer version of the same old stuff, and the solo isn’t impressive enough to warrant the extra time.

The vocals aren’t bad, and Rouxd has the high pitched screeches and Axl like wails down pat. I admit that with better production – there’s way too much treble and not nearly enough bass, resulting in a hollow sound – he’d sound good. I can’t say much about the bass, since the only time you can hear it is in "Everlong Lasting," but since there weren’t any glaringly bad moments, I can only assume that it’s decent.

I will give Cirkus credit for both "Everlong Lasting" and "Crazy," two tracks that escape the jaws of traditional glam themes, but these two tracks are more like political commentaries on poverty and the bane of world governments, and seem out of place on an otherwise lighthearted album. The closing track is a cover of T. Rex’s classic "Get It On." All I can say about it is the 80’s version that Powerstation did was far better.

Cirkus' "Let The Madness Begin" may provide a quick and temporary fix for those who really love poppy glam metal music, but the formulaic sound will quickly become old. Poor production plagues the album, making it sound more like a live recording at an open mic night than something that was created in a studio. Everything about this album makes it easy to pass up.

Highs: "Chexx Mate" is a good tune, with a head bopping tempo and the addition of a saxophone.

Lows: The cover of "Get It On" makes Powerstation’s version sound hardcore.

Bottom line: An album that takes a stroll down memory lane of all the obligatory sounds and themes of the Sunset Strip era.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)