Monday, July 31, 2017

Next Exit - One Way Ticket 1981 - 1982

In our opinion, Sweet Madness was a band that deserved to be regarded as one of the United States' best new wave band (our review of one of their compilations here).  They had just enough raw garage and punk to add some frayed edges to the new wave gloss, and they could write and perform at a very high level.  Maybe it was bad luck, maybe it was their location in out of the way Spokane, Washington, but it didn't really happen for them.  But not a band full of quitters, by 1981 they decided they needed to change their venue and their name (in the latter case, to avoid confusion with second wave Ska band Madness).  So Sweet Madness of Spokane became Next Exit of Seattle.  Ancillary to those changes, John Robison the keys/synth player and one of the songwriters, and bass player Don Lynd, dropped out and guitarist  Greg Morlan and bassist Jef Morlan added to the remaining members Jan Gregor (vocals/guitar) and Mark Fenton (drums/backing vocals).  In Seattle Next Exit continued to play from the Sweet Madness catalog while developing new material and reworking the new, more guitar-centric sound.  I know, you are asking how you can get some of this material.  Well, this is your lucky day, because a trip to Bandcamp can get a digital download of One Way Ticket 1981 -1982, which includes 13 Next Exit interpretations of Sweet Madness songs and three new songs.  We'll note that even if you have the Sweet Madness material this album is worth getting, because the added edge and energy of the added lead guitar puts a different cast on the Sweet Madness songs.

Happily, this isn't even all we'll here from this talented lot.  Next Exit lasted two more years and an additional compilation may be ready by this Autumn.  By the way, the band later became Variant Cause, but I have no word on whether any of that material is forthcoming.

Bandcamp for album
Facebook (Sweet Madness}
Sweet Madness website


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