Madman Mundt

Madman Mundt (

The Triplets of Belleville Cedar Lee Theatre
Madman Mundt is as sundry as it is severe. Guitarist Scott Stearns played with Integrity precursor Die Hard. Bassist John Benedict drummed with improv-noise artists Weeds From a Perfect Garden. Scott Benedict briefly drummed with Pere Ubu. They know their way around punk and metal, and the band's self-titled debut is a distillation of tried-and-true hard-hard-hard-rock techniques.

Stearns grinds out staccato riffs that are more Prong than the new Prong album. Performance artist and frontman Mark D'Angelo (also a Weeds alumnus) shrieks hard to convince us that he's disturbed. In album-opener "Broke Against Sam," he froths at the mouth like System of a Down's Serj Tankian, taking on the role of a disintegrating junkie covered in sores and drowning in filth, as the band charges through erratic time changes. "Cancelled Comic Book Heroes" is a Bronx-style slam-dance workout. The prog-punk hits its stride in "Madman Mundt," three minutes of dizzying, off-key helter-skelter. The manic rant "Beyond" recalls Suicidal Tendencies' hardcore classic "Institutionalized." Most of it's been done before, but it's all done well.

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