Supergroups aren’t new. It probably started with Cream. Later, Fastway. But the trend appears to be picking up steam – Sixx A.M., Velvet Revolver, and Winery Dogs, to name a few. Whether consciously or unconsciously, fans let their expectations run artificially high when standout musicians from disparate bands get together. A sort of Dream Team effect, if you will. Art Of Anarchy is no exception. Fans naturally expect that if Scott Stapp brings the hitmaking songwriting and voice he employed with Creed and Bumblefoot brings the virtuosity that got him the Guns N’ Roses gig and John Moyer brings the aggression he displayed with Disturbed, then how could it not kick fans’ asses up out their foreheads? So, did Art Of Anarchy rise to this challenge with The Madness?
After recording an album in 2015 with the late, great, Scott Weiland, the team of Bumblefoot, Moyer, and the brothers Votta regrouped and began another high risk/high reward collaboration – this time with singer, Scott Stapp, who, like Weiland, has had his share of personal issues over the years. The result is The Madness, released on March 24, 2017. If you were expecting this album to kick ass, you’d be right. But if you were expecting this album to sound like Creed meets Guns N’ Roses meets Disturbed, you’d be wrong. The Art Of Anarchy ingredients, when mixed, form a new stew, with flavors akin to other modern hitmakers, such as Shinedown.
Regardless of your feelings about Scott Stapp, one thing is for certain – once he puts his stamp on a song, it’s likely to become a hit. In the early 2000’s, nobody pumped out hard rock hits with as much regularity as Creed. There just might be some more Stapp-stamped hits on The Madness. For instance, “Changed Man” is written in the same vein as some of the Creed megahits. Scott Stapp’s melodies have always been catchy. His lyrics have always been highly personal. The songs on The Madness are no exception. Scott Stapp said in a recent interview that the lyrics to “Changed Man” are basically a recounting of an argument with his wife after he fucked up in a big way. Check it out below.
Given Bumblefoot’s tendency to dabble in the avant-garde, the reasonable fear here would be that his playing would not be accessible to the ear of the non-musician. But fear not, as Bumblefoot keeps his experimental side in check for you here. Bumblefoot is no fool. With Scott Stapp singing, he knows what you came for…and he serves it to you on a platter.
Out of the gate, The Madness comes at you hard, including the title track, “The Madness”. At about the halfway point, they change it up a bit with some cool stuff like the vocal background harmonies on “Won’t Let You Down” and the slow down for the aforementioned “Changed Man.” The album sticks and moves – almost all of the tracks come in under four minutes. A lot of the tracks are rock radio ready, but without shamelessly pandering to rock radio; like I said, it comes at you. In other words, The Madness is an honest effort…and it happens to be really good.