What can be said about a band from Iowa that is “Modern Vintage Rock” and self-proclaims influence from Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Sublime, Nirvana, AC/DC, After The Burial, Notorious B.I.G, Joe Walsh and Will Whitmore.
Yeah, I think that about sums it up.
Oh, you’re still here…
Ok then. Let’s talk about Item 9 & The Mad Hatters, which, by the end of their ten track Old Style you’ll be in one of two places. You’ll either love it or hate it. Pete Lower, Adam Montgomery, Adam Maxwell, Matt Bryks and Rob Abrams make it very easy for you to decide. Their montage of rock is delivered with a vengeance. They storm into your head and there is no lock that can keep them out. Like a domineering guest that insists on taking the party in the direction they want, they’re here to stay.
With a slurring distaste for conformity, Old Style explodes with personality and attitude-infused riotous energy. “O Henri” drives the album open with a distorted psychedelic grunge finesse that doesn’t let go throughout. There appears to be no precise rationale behind the Iowa quintet’s approach to their sound, except, perhaps to completely energize you and obliterate your psyche. The album transitions through tracks like “Sunshine,” a bluesy track showing their softer side and “She Needs It,” with an alternative pop/Anthony Kiedis mindset. Not settling too long on any given style, Item 9 & The Mad Hatters opts for a much more stage-to-album sound. Their qualities lie heavily in live performance. It is evident in their production. Explosive and jam-band like, they are a sound that struggles to be restrained to album.
Item 9 & The Mad Hatters is the kind of band you can’t bring home to meet your folks because, though they have a little for everyone, they’re far from connoisseur of polite. They’re the kind of band that everyone will think you listen to just to spite them, but they actually, oddly, speak to you on a very personal level. They’re an outlet for personality which, once heard, will leave irreparable damage to your innocence.
I love it.