Mad Gregs
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Mad Gregs

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By c4

I’m gonna admit something here but let me first say don’t get all harshed by it. When I first listened to the Mad Gregs via their myspace, I was not impressed. I think it was when I was digging up the goods for the Aunt Dracula post I did last week – which you guys showed an overwhelming amount of love to, thanks for that from me and a punch in the stomach from your old Aunt D – anyway, I gave them a second listen and my re-assessment says they’re totally blog worthy. So here we are. The Mad Gregs are brought to you from Los Angeles and their ridiculously modest myspace layout does not attest to their greatness. I predict big things from these dudes in the very near future. They sound like memories. I dono what that means. But I REMEMBER them from somewhere or something that probably never existed. Thats a good thing. They just released a new album that you can buy via itunes, and have NO music available for free anywhere, so the best I can do is tell you they’re awesome, show you where to get the tunes, and direct you to listen on their myspace page. My job here is done.

- Fantastic Weapon


The mild mannered boys of Los Angeles-based Mad Gregs - whom I saw for the first time at Cake Shop last summer - have recently come out with a new album, "Big Nun." Great name for an album by the way. This is their first release under record label Fake Four Inc. Maybe it's been too long since I've seen them, but it seems to me that this album is a little less experimental than their earlier stuff. Or maybe I've gotten more experimental and so they just seem less experimental... *shrugs* My point is, it's poppy, which is great. And I'd say it has a little more dramatic flare to it. It's still "quiet music for intimate spaces," that - despite it's quietness - has a very full sound. They still utilize an impressive variety of instruments and noise-making stuff - how many bands can you name with a bass clarinet?

I actually really like "Big Nun." It's a gentle, relaxing listening experience - which is perfect for me today as I'm nursing some kind of flu-like illness. "Big Nun" is a good album to curl up in bed to, albeit a short one. It's only 8 songs. They've been described as "chamber pop" and I think that's a really good label for this album. - Guilt Free Pleasures


Mad Gregs is a collaboration between Jason Golday, Lewis Keller, Devin McNulty and John Wood. Each artist shares singing and songwriting responsibilities, creating a sound that is varied and interesting. It's avant-pop with hints of gypsy folk and '70s pop with a lot of unconventional instruments taking center stage, including bass clarinets, whirly tubes, tone bells and drumming robots. The result is a super-psychedelic sound in a league of its own. This album highlights not just the collective talent of these men, but their individual talents as well. - Kalamazoo Gazette


Discography

Mad Gregs - Big Nun (2008, Fake Four Inc)

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Bio

Mad Gregs is the Los Angeles based collaborative musical effort of Jason Golday, Lewis Keller, Devin McNulty, and John Wood, all of whom share song-writing and singing responsibilities to form one eclectic voice. Often in four-part harmony and with diverse instrumentation (including bass clarinet, harmonica, plastic whirlies, and miniature drumming robots), the band creates a pleasantly palatable yet extremely unique sound, culling descriptions as welcome as "chamber pop" and "the post- modern Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young," and as inaccurate as "the Beach Boys on acid" (considering that the Beach Boys were on acid and Mad Gregs generally are not).
Over the last 7 or so years, the members of Mad Gregs have been part of a larger musical community based around the now defunct California Institute of the Arts derived DIY Pop label Ballbearings Piñatas. This large but tight knit group of musicians has been known to contribute to each others' projects and has most notably been linked to releases with Ariel Pink, R.Stevie Moore, Spencer Owen, as well as members of The Mae Shi among others. Mad Gregs was formed out of this group of friends as a natural extension of these numerous under-the-radar collective projects.
Their debut album "Big Nun" was recorded in between East and West Coast tours with Anni Rossi in 2007. The album closely captures the subtleties of Mad Gregs' wonderfully nuanced, self proclaimed "quietish" performances. Though all four songwriters contribute their individual details and styles, the final outcome is an undeniably cohesive, meticulously arranged collection of eight tunes. Many will undoubtedly try, but it's hard to link the sounds on "Big Nun" to any direct influence. This is original song writing at its finest.