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Album Review

The band's second and seemingly final album — though a third is still stuck somewhere in record company vaults — expands on the best points of All That Noise with considerably less of the drawbacks, making for a much better effort all around. Part of it could be the new lineup, with Roswell concentrating on keyboards and Wagstaff being a fine replacement for him on drums, but in general there seems to be an effort to be less one-note. While All That Noise did touch on a variety of styles, it seemed more like a cloning on them rather than an attempt to do anything with them. Melomania, on the other hand, takes that variety to create a more distinct sound, one that doesn't call to mind Spacemen 3 as much. Bain still has the lazy drawl singing from before, but he sounds more like his own man, while the group as a whole aims for something a little more complex and individual. Consider the subtle arrangements on "Feelings Flow," which almost sounds like a full horn section and orchestration at points, concluding with a brilliant, lovely solo from Cowan before a quieter coda. Then there's the just aggressive enough "Are You for Real," riding a more joyful rock kick than anything else, a rave-up for the heck of it that sounds downright fun, despite the sentiments of the lyrics. Some songs, like "This Mystic Morning," unsurprisingly call the mood from All That Noise to mind in its slow, dreamy shuffle, but the additional keyboards from Roswell, Cowan's semi-twangy guitar, and more help transform the song into something more. Concluding with a fantastic one-two punch — the anthemic "Cry for Me" and the lengthy slow build burn "Rise" — Melomania is a lost early-'90s pleasure.

Customer Reviews

If you like the Madchester bands, you'll love this

This album really sounds like the Charlatans (UK) and Happy Mondays got together for a little side project.


To rc who called this album 'techno crud'....are you an idiot? Seriously. There is nothing techno about this album other than it's a precursor the Manchaster party (rave) scene of the early 1990s. This album is THE classic Manchester (Madchester) acid house sound that has influenced so many bands. A nice mix of The Verve, Stone Roses & little Inspiral Carpets mixed but just enough that Darkside still have their own unique sound. Nice to see a bit of somewhat obscure musical history on iTunes.


Its great to see more music from the great Rugby... check out Spacemen 3, Loop, Spectrum, Spiritualized.... put it on and float in space


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

One of the many projects to emerge from the groundbreaking efforts of drone-rock avatars Spacemen 3, the Darkside was led by Pete Bain (a.k.a. Pete Bassman), who had left the Spacemen prior to their 1989 LP Playing with Fire. Upon returning to his hometown of Rugby, England, Bain encountered vocalist Nick Hayden, who asked him to join the Darkside; soon the revitalized group was performing locally and cutting demos, but after signing a record deal their drummer exited, to be replaced another Spacemen...
Full Bio
Melomania, Darkside
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Customer Ratings