5 Go Mad

Hampshire Punks “5 Go Mad” have a debut LP out and after certain constructive criticisms of mine at a recent live show, they have thrown down the gauntlet and asked me to review their new LP. Right, here goes…

It opens with “Crashed Course”; a self-autobiographical account of singer Alan’s frustration at his Mrs., curbing his enthusiasm for playing live shows. Delivered tongue in cheek with a driving beat and thunderous drums, it is lyrically humorous but with a message; “she rules my life…..” It’s a great opener with an equally great ending in the mode of many an 80’s Punk band. “Jim’s Teeth” has an intro not unlike The Lurkers “I’m On Heat”. A detailed account of a band members tooth loss. Again the humour in the lyrics is the standout element, however the female backing vocals remind me of The Ejected!

“She’s Not Quite Right” begins with a furiously fast guitar part, matched by a vocal delivery at similiar pace. A phrenetic drumbeat and humorous, storytelling lyrics once more; yet clear and audible. I just wonder which band member(s) encountered said girl ? I’d like to meet her (NOT)! The noodly guitar part in the background is matched by a decent backing vocal on this early standout track. “Just Another Anti-War Song” is much slower in the intro before making way for some speedball Punk. Alan’s vocals are delivered with pace and power, at times he strains to get every word out yet succeeds. The song slows down again in the middle before exploding back into life again. The big tambourine sections throughout make it almost a song of 2 parts. The Exploited come to mind but listeners will find many an 80’s Punk influence here.

“Punk Police” – Oh yes! Know it all 1st wave Punk “observers” with their views and opinions on bands! An astute observation of an age old problem put to song. “Fuck Off, Fuck Off, Punk Police” in the chorus, kinda sums it up really. We’ve all been there when someone critiques the band-music, clothes, style, influences etc. It’s a snotty aside to the Punk Police and the message is clear. “Boss Wanker”, the old adage. Yes, we’ve all had one. Obviously written from personal experience again. A bassy, brutally honest vocal and storytelling account. Much slower than most of the other songs and a welcome departure from the fast and furious.

5 Go Mad

“Ginger Beer” is a celebration song that lauds one’s enjoyment of Ginger Beer, all to a Punk beat. It’s humorous and I dare you the listener not to laugh during the chorus. It’s Test Tubes-esque and the belch at the end is not out of place. “Andy’s Bladder”; we are now reduced to songs about urine! The chorus pulls no punches, “needs a piss, needs a piss, bladders full and needs a piss”. I wonder if it’s anything to do with all that Ginger Beer?! More Exploited guitar influences and ferocious drumming; with a vocal delivered at breakneck speed, the drum fade-out to the finish is just great.

“Mockney Cockney” is the fastest tune on here and again there’s a subject matter we all know too well – we all know a Mockney Cockney!! A driving beat of huge drums and equally huge chords and vocals of epic speed. Delivered angrily and I’m guessing the song is very personal to at least one band member (if not all). “Drinking and Wanking” opens with the guitar intro from Sham 69’s “I Don’t Wanna”. Whether stolen or incidental is anyone’s guess. How anyone in this band keeps a straight face when playing it live is another matter. It’s a filthy, tongue in cheek classic with humour of huge prominence.

The LP closes with their take on a classic sea shanty. “What Shall We Do With 5 Go Mad”? is delivered in the vein of Tenpole Tudor, with pace and gusto and lyrically taking a pop at all 5 band members.

As debut’s go this is pretty decent all round. It would be too easy to just lump them in with the “Novelty Punk” brigade, but production is decent if a bit heavy. It’s not thrashy and the lyrics are clear and audible almost throughout. 5 Go Mad should have no problem securing gigs in their locality and beyond, supporting the bands they aspire to emulate. To produce an LP like this shows how far they have come in such a short space of time. It’s still a crowded genre but there’s plenty of room for bands like 5 Go Mad and long may that continue.

Band Members

Crashed Course
Jim’s Teeth
She’s Not Quite Right
Just Another Anti-War Song
Punk Police
Boss Wanker
Ginger Beer
Andy’s Bladder
Mockney Cockney
Drinking and Wanking
What Shall We Do With 5 Go Mad?


Review by Ross A. Ferrone.

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