Danny Madigan & Alpha Chrome Yayo – Grangeweird Album Review
Music doesn’t have to take itself super seriously to be seriously good. Grangeweird, the latest split EP from Belfast synth warlocks Alpha Chrome Yayo and Danny Madigan is infectious for a multitude of reasons. While the melodies and production deserve mention, there is an undeniable
Music doesn’t have to take itself super seriously to be seriously good. Grangeweird, the latest split EP from Belfast synth warlocks Alpha Chrome Yayo and Danny Madigan is infectious for a multitude of reasons. While the melodies and production deserve mention, there is an undeniable sense that the artists involved had a blast making this release, and the listener is immediately transported to that space of something a little spooky, a little unusual, and a lot of fun. If ever there was a soundtrack for an Elvira revival, Grangeweird is it. Someone call the fine folks over at Shudder.
Grangeweird sees Danny Madigan and Alpha Chrome Yayo trading tracks.
Danny Madigan handles the first and third. He opens the EP with “Autumnal Equinox”, setting the stage for the horror-soundtrack-inspired tracks that follow. After getting comfortable with the march of the rhythm in the song, a voice over narrative kicks in. The concept of the album is laid out in simple terms and not relegated solely to Bandcamp description spaces. Classic chorus-drenched goth guitar and bass follow, and when they blend with the melodic synths of the opening the whole song crescendos spectacularly. “The Binding” is the other Danny Madigan solo track on Grangeweird. This is much more vocal-focused than the opener, and its lyrics strike a delicate balance of well-written and campy. The goth rock influences again fill the track and make it a highlight of the release.
Not to be outdone, Alpha Chrome Yayo delivers tracks 2 and 4 of Grangeweird. With the second track, “Mindlocked Messenger”, no time is wasted delivering the funky melodies and groove-laden rhythms that ACY is so synonymous with. Two minutes in he throws a rhythmic curveball and the whole song starts to feel different and more cinematic. “Leylines” shows Alpha Chrome Yayo unconventionally mixing some serene electronic piano sounds with some more abrasive lo-fi chiptune elements. There’s a lot going on in this song, with switching in and out of double time, its fidelity mixing, its haunting synths, and its endless supply of catchy keyboard passages, it’ll stick around in listener’s minds.
The album closes with Eleusinian Mysteries, a collaborative track between both artists that sees both of their idiosyncrasies share the spotlight. It’s filled with vocals, groovy synths, moody guitar, and evolving beats.
Grangeweird is the perfect EP for the upcoming spooky season, but don’t be fooled. You’re going to be listening to this well after October 31. Two very unique artists collide on this EP and leave readers with an EP that doesn’t sound like anything else out there. And one which is a strong contender for the most memorable of the year.