Midnight Madness & Beyond

by: G.B.H.

G.B.H.'s last straight-ahead punk release, Midnight Madness & Beyond, has some of the elements of the music that they would incorporate into their later albums. There's a hint of guitar solos in "Too Much" (an unusual love song) and "Chance for Living." Similarly, the production is cleaner than usual, though not as polished as it would be on later albums. There's also a hint of the increasingly odd lyrical directions the band would later go on to follow. "Blood" is a salute to werewolves and the silly "Horror Story" is merely a list of the band's favorite horror movies. Nonetheless, there's no shortage of righteous punk fury (and the band's classic sound) in the anti-Reagan diatribe "Sam Is Your Leader" and the populist "How Come," but the anger turns rather curdled in "Limpwristed," an attempt to lash out at educators that comes off as vaguely homophobic. Still, even with the occasional clunker, punk and thrash aficionados will find that Midnight Madness & Beyond is worth a listen. ~ Victor W. Valdivia

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