New Madrid
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New Madrid

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Rock Latin




"The way this trio delivers is genius."

The Brooklyn-based Latin rock trio New Madrid, who played Bowery Electric on Thursday night, have a way of really drawing the audience in and injecting them with their explosive sensitivity and sensuality. At first, I stood in back of the crowd, not really sure what to expect. I wondered why they set up the drum kit at the front of the stage, or why there was a keyboard in the kit.

Less than halfway through the first song, New Madrid fans were absolutely taking over the space and I just had to move closer to the stage. I almost caught a mouthful of curly, strawberry blonde hair from the 6-foot woman in front of me as she danced and head-banged everywhere. Most fans knew all of the words.

The way this trio delivers is genius. Axel Ito is the front man AND drummer, infusing his vocals with the occasional synth line. He sings in both Spanish and in English, and although he doesn’t venture too far away from the drum kit, his energy and matador-like performance style made many of his fans charge the stage. It's not everyday you see a drummer standing throughout the entire set.

Erik Barragan supplied magnetic guitar leads and background vocals. Anthony Formichella rocked the bass with a super tight groove. I felt like I was watching a blockbuster soundtrack: these guys really know how to put on a show.

I had a chance to speak with Axel after the show, and he shed some light as to how he became both a drummer and front man. The band started four years ago with vocals, guitar, bass and drums. Then after some time, the drummer - who is still a very close friend of the band - left, and Axel offered to step covering the drum parts while still holding down lead vocals. The crowd loved it, and they decided to keep it. Now the drum kit stays front and center during their shows.

- Feast of Music/Sky Disco

"New Madrid Rocks Greenpoint!"

Brooklyn-based artist Nicole Handel’s first solo show, “Neighbors” will open at the Greenpoint Gallery on June 24, 2011 at 7PM featuring special musical guests, New Madrid. The artist’s work reflects inspirations drawn from the vibrant community of her adopted hometown of Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, where she has lived for the last nine years.

Handel’s work is at once playful and profound. Her vibrant watercolor paintings juxtapose abstract illustrations with realistic images, the architectural precision of urbanity intersecting the dreamlike world of the imagination. It’s an artistry that mitigates new world culture with a momentum that is purely metropolitan, all the while embodying the measured sensibilities of rendered drawings.

Raised in rural New England but residing in New York City, Handel integrates her pastoral background with the spatial constraints of the street scape in her work. She deliberately traces watercolor images in an asymmetrical, irregular fashion to signify an impetus to impose restraint over disorder. Yet, what is ultimately evoked goes beyond the dynamic architecture of her work to reveal a natural world spilled out onto the constructs of a built environment. In allowing the organic to prevail, within the highly technical tapestry of the city, Handel generates new images of community, kinship, and personal connections.

Nicole Handel's work makes me feel like I am walking on air…(she) is
one of the best new artists I have seen in awhile. The first time I saw her work I was taken aback by it’s strength and beauty. - Koko Ntuen, Ladygunn Magazine

Nicole was the winner of one of our recent Salon shows. Her work is a bokd combination of organic and architectural elements that creat a juxtaposed narrative that is both timely and culturally relevant. Honestly one of the best new artists we've exhibited. Shawn James, Greenpoint

The artist studied undergraduate drawing at Pratt Institute of Art and Design. Her work has been featured in exhibitions throughout New York, New Orleans and Massachusetts, including the Schafler Gallery, South Side Speakeasy, Antenna Gallery and Greenpoint Gallery as well as a recent feature in Ladygunn Magazine.

Accompanying Handel’s solo show will be music by New Madrid, a unique and bilingual Brooklyn-based rock trio formed in 2009 consisting of Axel Ito (vocals, drums), Anthony Formichella (bass), and Erik Barragan (guitar). The New Madrid sound is influenced by traditional rhythms found in the South American Andes, and fused with contemporary American and British alternative rock. The band integrates both in Spanish and English in their lyrics: un estilo engendrado en Latino America pero creado en Norte America.

Following the headlining act will be Coins, a newly formed quartet with River Symone on vox, Ian H on guitar, Phil Driskill on drums and Jason Henry on bass guitar.

Neighbors will open at The Greenpoint Gallery located at 390 McGuiness in Greenpoint Brooklyn on June 24th. The show opens at 7PM, the band will perform at 9PM.

Questions? Please contact Isa Wooster:



NEW MADRID: - New Madrid

"¡Ay Caramba for La Araña!"

Araña?!… A SPIDER?! Okay, not like a tarantula or anything of the sort, but “La Araña”, the new single from one of my favorite bands; New Madrid

Their music is doper than dope, fly-er than fly and more jive than…the original Jive! (1940's dance anyone?) Their rhythmic tunes will flow through your veins, pump tantalizing vibes throughout your body, and revive every dull cell in your being. Energetic? Yes. Groovy? Most definitely. Truly they are nothing short of perfection. Don’t believe me? Click the audio player below and listen for yourself

I know, I know, you can thank me later. Meanwhile, hurry to itunes and purchase your copy by clicking HERE. Now that “La Araña” has enhanced your interest in the band, be sure to see this fabulous trio LIVE! They are playing on Cinco de Mayo at the famous Pianos Bar located on 158 Ludlow Street in Manhattan. You can check out more details on Facebook by clicking HERE. Also, “stay in the know” by visiting their BLOG for shows, new releases and “general musings”

New Madrid is Axel Ito (Lead Vocals, Percussion), Erik Barragan (Guitar,Vocals), & Anthony Formichella (Bass,Vocals).

Happy Listening!
- Graham

"The 28 Best Bands of CMJ"

New Madrid (Brooklyn, New York)
“The highlight of our CMJ was definitely playing on the Big Noyes CMJ Showcase at Parkside Lounge on Saturday night. The turnout was great, and the enthusiasm contagious. We also had a blast this week watching other bands like The Shake and Hank & Cupcakes.” – Erik Barragan of New Madrid

- Blackbook/Matthew Shepatin

"Album Review"

Fiery, artsy, adrenalizing, original rock from Brooklyn. New Madrid have two guitars, bass and drums, purposeful lyrics that alternate between Spanish and English and a relentlessly tuneful melodic attack. There seems to be a 90s rock en Espanol influence although there’s definitely a classic art-rock vibe going on too...Proof that there’s just as much great stuff as there is shit coming out of Brooklyn. If this EP is any indication then they probably kick ass live. -Lucid Culture - Lucid Culture

"Concert Review: New Madrid at Crash Mansion, NYC 4/3/10"

New Madrid have really taken their live show to the next level. Entering to the thundering strains of a cd of Also Sprach Zarathustra, they hit a jarring chord in a completely unrelated key and then proceeded to pummel the audience with one darkly catchy, stomping anthem after another. There is no other New York band who sound like them which is probably because A) being a bilingual/rock-en-Espanol band, they’re the furthest thing from “indie” and B) they seem to draw more on European or Mexican influences. Their shtick is that their drummer stands and sings, and he welcomes the chance to come out from behind the kit. This time around he’d shut the band down for a pregnant pause, sticks between his teeth, waiting for a reaction (something he could do a little less frequently – or else this time he was just in a particularly boisterous mood). He’s a good player, too, going four on three during two jarring, extended crescendos during one of the set’s last songs. The guitarist is eerie and noisy, like Daniel Ash but with better chops, at one point taking a solo that sounded like Saul Hernandez trying to channel Beefheart. Their bassist has a tough job, as much a part of holding the runaway train to the rails as the drums, and he delivered, at one point carrying the song with boomy intensity while the drummer took an eerie suspense-film solo on the toms.

Most of the material in the set seemed new, other than the tensely staccato anthem Soberano (Sovereign). The best song of the night saw the guitarist employing the most macabre, watery effect you could imagine: on top of that, he’d bend the notes at the end of a phrase with his tremolo bar for even more sepulchral quaver and goosebumps. The big audience hit seemed to be a fairly simple, somewhat glamrock number entitled Kill; another new one, possibly titled Crazy Lady was aptly menacing, with a grittily noisy, offhandedly intense guitar solo out.

Another way to tell that New Madrid is on to something good is how they managed to clear the fratboys out of the room. Almost imperceptibly, a much more intelligent-looking, diverse and considerably less obvious crowd gathered at the front of the room as the khaki-and-poloshirt contingent stumbled back toward the bar. - Lucid Culture

"Live Review: The Theatre Shows 3.6.10"

First up, New Madrid, cleverly fusing Spanish and English lyrics performed with an intensity that surpassed the sound of three, and engaged the bizarrely dressed crowd with adrenaline-infused rock. During “La Araña,” the band even tossed out creepy crawly souvenir spiders. -Meijin Bruttomesso - The Deli Magazine NYC/DirtyFuckingHipster/Meijin Bruttomesso


New Madrid EP Review
I've been following this new band, New Madrid, for a couple months now. I first heard of them when a friend of mine happened to catch them at Fat Baby over the summer and she said, "Hank, you've never head music like this before." So, I took her advice and checked out their myspace. There wasn't much content and the recordings were low-fi, but I saw they were playing a show at Pianos a couple weeks following, so I marked it on my calendar.

Great decision.

It was a pretty slow, warm Sunday night in July. The show was free. There were a couple other bands on the bill who were set to play after New Madrid, but I had work early the next day so I wasn't planning on sticking around for them (though I got sucked in and ended up staying, but that's for another blog). At about 9.30 the place started to fill up. Apparently I wasn't the only one who had heard that this band is a must-see/must-hear. A little after 10 New Madrid stepped on stage. At the middle mic was a guy who looked in his early-mid 20's with a charming little Latin accent. The bass player was a big dude with big dreads and a small t-shirt (sounds about right), the lead guitarist looked a little older, maybe late-2o's, with a fedora and a tie, and the drummer wore a smile on his face from set-up to tear-down. The first song, "Soberano," which became the first song on their recently-released EP, which I will get to shortly, began with a booming, almost tribal drum beat on the big toms. The lead singer, Axel (yes, that's his given name), got the crowd clapping - he hardly had to ask. Then his voice came in...

I'll be honest, the rest of the set became a blur. I was hooked. Sucked in. Tractor beam victim #1,598. This band was awesome. It was spicy but not over-the-top Latin - it was Rock but not too hard - it was fusion but not too obvious. It was new but not scary.

So, of course, I bought the EP which came out this past September, and, of course, went to the EP release party. The party was at Pianos, too, with the same band as the first show. As though the four members hadn't poured their hearts and souls out on stage the first, they FUCKING KILLED IT. The energy and the passion were engulfing, mystifying almost. The band was incredible. The EP is great. There are four songs: "Soberano," "Vesicant," "Pure" (my personal favorite), and "I'll Find My Way." They go together very nicely and it's a great way to kill about 20 minutes of your day. It cost me 4 bucks and I sent it to all my friends, and now they're all NM fans like me.

I highly recommend getting your hands on the New Madrid EP, but! I recommend seeing this band live even more. They are spectacular.

-Hank C. Kupsic - MHC Music Review/Hank C. Kupsic

"Live Review: Cake Shop 1.23.10"

I was extremely intrigued to see New Madrid. I’ve heard things here and there about them, but had never seen them live nor really dug into their self-titled EP, which was released last year. The four tracks and live videos on their MySpace had me very interested to see what they’d be live. And, while the songs off the EP are catchy and interesting, and the live videos (as home-made as they appear and sound) are pretty cool, this live show is off the fucking chains.

To start with, New Madrid shut off all the lights on stage and stood prepping their fingers, finishing their beers and checking the levels on their amps as Mozart blasted through the PA. The lights shoot on just as the band come in on a brutally fast, chugging punk song I learned from their MySpace is called “Radio Tranquila.” From the outset, frontman/drummer/lead singer, Axel, was in total command of stage and crowd. It was no surprise to see him and Cupcakes chatting it up after the show, because the two are awfully similar. Not only do they both stand and play drums while singing, but they are both supremely enigmatic. Guitarist, Erik Barragan, added massive distortion to his guitar, which, in conjunction with bassist, Anthony Formichella’s flittering bass lines, provided both grit and elegance to the set.

New Madrid deliver a set full of highlights. When they decide to get loud, they get fucking loud. Axel is not only an irresistibly engaging performer, but he is a phenomenal singer. Not to mention a very good, original-sounding drummer. Truly a great talent. And the songs are really great. There were a group of very tall, hip-looking girls no more than 6? from the stage with their hands in the hair from start to finish; a little punk dude headbanging at the stage’s edge with his shirt off; an old, bald man contorting his body in an almost disconcerting fashion; people making out left and right; an agglomeration of flashbulbs fit for a Paris Hilton appearance. -DFH - DirtyFuckingHipster

"New Madrid is "El Bomb-Diggity""

Brush up on your high school Spanish folks, New Madrid is in LA CASA!

I actually had the chance to see New Madrid back in November, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them again at the Webster Hall Studio on January 28th. They are truly a marvelous experience. When I was originally invited to see this fantastic threesome, I was a bit skeptical of their greatness. Being characterized as a “Latin Rock Band” I wasn’t sure if I was getting some kooky Spanish Pop or Bodega music. I guess the saying is true, “Don’t knock it till you try it” because I was definitely blown away.

What also impressed me was their set up. (Wizzawhat?! Lead singer on Drums?! Not everyone can pull THAT off ) Nowadays I don’t see a lot of awesome 3 member bands. Sure, Nirvana & Cream rocked their scene, but nowadays (as well all know) music lacks originality. Dare I say it? New Madrid is bringing my faith back into the underground music scene.

No speake’ Español? Not to worry. Their music is so powerful that it breaks the language barrier and translates to heartfelt tunes and rhythm that you just can't resist! By their 2nd song it is almost expected that you see people dancing and having a fantastic time.

So New York, check out their myspace page HERE and “like” them on Facebook by clicking HERE. They will be blessing the city of brotherly love (Philadelphia, PA) on February 17th so be sure to check out details on their music pages. (Road trip anyone?)

Overall, their trio is fun and musical with vibes that are libidinously lovely Keep tuning in to find out when they’re playing NYC next because they are definitely worth seeing New Madrid is Axel Ito (Lead Vocals, Percussion), Erik Barragan (Guitar,Vocals), & Anthony Formichella (Bass,Vocals) - Paige Graham

"Studio Session: Penrose & Co. Play Webster Hall"

New Madrid, by contrast, offered a novel marriage of Latin meets alternative, an undoubtedly unique and relatively unchartered musical territory amidst the larger segment of U.S. indie bands. Though the components to their sound have clear roots, it’s the fusion of the two (Latin and rock, English and Spanish) which make this band worth paying heed to. - Dania McDermott


NEW MADRID: (4 song demo,originally released August, 2008, remixed and remastered April 2009)
La Araña (demo, released January 2011)
Radio Tranquila (single, released May 2012)



New Madrid is a three-headed monster. Their music and lyrics are an almagamation of rock culture and South American idioms, a blending of languages and rhythms: Un estilo engendrado en Latino America pero creado en Norte America. Based in Brooklyn, fully formed in 2009, New Madrid is: Axel Ito (lead vocals, drums, keys), Anthony Formichella (bass, backing vocals), and Erik Barragan (guitar, backing vocals). In their sound the influence of Andes and Caribbean rhythms lends the contemporary American and British Rock/Alternative genre a much-needed diversity.

In the past year, New Madrid's explosive live show has garnered much interest. The band has expanded their boundaries beyond New York, becoming a mainstay in Philadelphia and Connecticut. In 2011, they released their single "La Araña", rocked the Highline Ballroom and celebrated shows at The Studio at Webster Hall, and even graced the stage at Governor's Island for The City of Water Festival. New Madrid has made a name for themselves as New York City headliners--most recently during Independence Fest at Knitting Factory Brooklyn--and their annual Cinco de Mayo show at Pianos set the LES on fire. Currently New Madrid is recording their second EP, and is busy writing new material.

New Madrid is the next and most needed step in rock evolution: bilingual rock. Una fusion, un nuevo lenguaje, una nueva cancion unida; eso es New Madrid.