Forgotten Gems-Powermad-The Madness Begins
Hailing from Minneapolis Powermad were one of the many thrash hopefuls of the 80's who never quite made it. I think that's more because the scene was so crowded and not a reflection of the band's talent. Having formed in 1984 these guys soon knocked out a few demos and signed to Combat who released their debut EP. Shortly after that they inked a deal with Warner Brothers and put out another EP. I remember an ad for "The Madness Begins" getting my attention in 1988. Although I believe a friend had oredered it and that's how I first heard Powermad. The four track EP showed the band had a rather refined thrash sound not far off Anthrax and early Overkill. Although they are not afraid to hit upon a few technical acrobatic bits here and there. The vocals of Joe Dubay are a bit higher than some other thrash singers of the day, but they suit the music here quite well. The EP includes three originals and a Ramones cover. My favorite track is probably the closer "Blind leading the blind" which is an admirable shredfest. I wasn't overwhelmed by Powermad at the time as I was already to some heavier and faster bands. However they were creative and steady enough to appeal to me and they still do. The band is probably more known for their 1989 LP "Absolute Power", but this holds a special place for me because it was my first exposure to this band.