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Hello June Fool

Madder Rose

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Album Review

Rebounding from the tangled end of their Atlantic label stint and coming up smelling of roses, Madder Rose on Hello June Fool don't merely find reasons to keep living, but share them with all. Namely some great songs; both Cote and Lorson come up with some humdingers throughout, the quiet but effective melange of styles they've pursued over time serving them quite well here. There's a definite air of wistful, smoky mystery throughout Hello June Fool, almost suggesting the touch of such acts as Portishead and Massive Attack, but, wisely, without an attempt to simply replicate those bands. If anything, there's a trippier, semi-stoner vibe from the start, thanks to "Feels Like Summer," one of the better heavy psych efforts of the '90s, the more so because the squalling guitar and slow pace is harnessed to Lorson's fine delivery of Cote's pop lyric. Lorson's singing throughout is as wonderful as one would hope it to be, strong and rich, arguably even better than ever — check out her vocal sign-off on "Overflow" or her lovely turn on the dreamy "You Remember," which suggests the work of Lynn Canfield, only brighter and more direct. Cote's no slouch either — besides handling production throughout quite well, he's busy creating a series of swirling textures on both guitar and keyboards, along with Lorson, that flesh out the songs well. Johnny Kick (here playing under his real name of Rick Kubic) again shows his facility for his chosen instrument by varying his drum work throughout, effortlessly tackling everything from steady throb to plenty of quietly funky breaks. Other highlights: "Hotel," with its combination of building arrangements that suddenly cut to the softest of chimes, and the fuzz-tone-laden "Goodbye June Fool," with Lorson singing lyrics about Cote about a woman named...Mary.


Formed: 1990 in New York, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s

Responsible for some of the sweetest and, unfortunately, most overlooked indie rock of the '90s, New York City's Madder Rose featured guitarist Billy Coté, drummer Johnny Kick, bassist Matt Verta-Ray, and guitarist/vocalist Mary Lorson. Their lovely 1993 debut album, Bring It Down, introduced the band's winning combination of Lorson's dulcet voice and Coté and Lorson's eloquent songs; while it was a critical success, that album and its equally graceful 1994 follow-up, Panic On, both eluded commercial...
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Hello June Fool, Madder Rose
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