Mad Housewives
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Mad Housewives

Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


This band has no press


Stories From the Alley, 2004
Bungie Jump to Madness (release date, May 2008)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Blending rhythms of Mexican mariachi bands with the sweet-sounding guitar of South African Zulu players and vocals tinged with Chrissie Hynde, you get the sound of the Mad Housewives and their latest cd release. From the Stones' inspired "Trouble Maker" to the kaleidoscope vibe on "I'm Addicted", the sounds of the Mad Housewives are as diverse as the characters that have inspired their writing.

How do you quiet a Mad Housewife? Ask the usually passionate and outspoken band members how their songs are inspired and they become uncharacteristically quiet and thoughtful. It's not that they don't know where the songs come from, it's just that they find it difficult to talk about.

There has always been an intense edginess and melancholia to their music dating back to when I first saw them in the 80's and they were performing on the circuit reworking cover tunes from Lou Reed, Dusty Springfield, Otis Redding and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

In the mid to late 80's, they earned their reputation headlining in venues including Club Matador, Grossman's, Albert's Hall and the Black Swan in Toronto but preferring more intimate settings like Café Kim, Graffitti's and The Greeks in Toronto's famed Kensington Market where they still choose to play over the more commercial markets.

With a vocalist - think Chrissie Hynde after a good night's sleep, a lead guitarist who takes her inspiration from Diblo, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Keith Richards, and a rhythm section with a subtle and finely tuned sensitivity to laying down the right groove and intelligent feel on each song, the Mad Housewives are a powerful force in the underground of performing bands.

There are many sounds that haven't already been captured by the glut of bands on the scene and the Mad Housewives have found them.

Their latest release, Stories From The Alley is a collection of stories people have told them late at night and in the black anonymity of bar life and is filled with finely etched portraits of horrifying beauty.

The gritty streetscape is there in almost every cut on the album and at times both soaringly sweet while sometimes painfully dark and bleak, the soul of Stories From the Alley is intact safe from the hands of overproduction and cheesy orchestration. The urban influence in their music is easy to hear.

Steve Lindsay, the band's bass player brings a solid bottom end that allows the band to draw their subjects to you larger than life. Along with Nick Kent (Martha and the Muffins, the CeeDees, Mondo Combo, the Nationals), they are the rhythmic pulse of the band creating the structure that allows the music to soar.

"No-one really knows where to slot us", says Sheryl Lindsay, the band's lead vocalist. "If we had only played one type of music it would have been easier but that kind of thing didn't reflect who we are and what we wanted to do with our music."

"We wanted to maintain a really raw, immediate and simple sound", says Joanne Green, the band's lead guitar player. "The more we listen to music, the more we wanted the organic and simple sound of the telling of a story. I don't want to be buried by the device the storyteller is using. I just want to hear the story."

Stories From The Alley is about the things you only talk about when it's last call and you know in a few short minutes you will be back out into the dark night without money for beer or a streetcar home. It reflects the stories of people's lives - the stories told only to perfect strangers when the bar is closing and everyone else has given up listening. The Mad Housewives listened.

The Mad Housewives are a fixture in Toronto and you can catch them playing locally every week, usually in Kensington Market somewhere. They'll be there. Listening.