TS: Madder Rose vs Magnapop

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Welcome this is the 2nd in a series of important bands that can be found filed in close proximity to one another in record store racks.

You only have $2.99, which do you spring for? Hot Boxing, or the one with "Car" or is it "Car Song"?

Aaron A, Thursday, 1 September 2005 00:53 (fourteen years ago) link

Oddly enough, I actually did face that choice a couple months ago! It was a stoop sale, however, and everything was $1. I left with Hot Boxing, purely for the vague memories of "Slowly Slowly" being kind of alright... (I also grabbed Susanna Hoffs's When You're A Boy and Sam Philips's Cruel Inventions), to neither of which I've bothered to listen yet.

joseph cotten (joseph cotten), Thursday, 1 September 2005 01:08 (fourteen years ago) link

the debut madder rose album still sounds great to me! as is about a third of 'panic on'. both magnapop records i've owned weren't terribly good at all

jimmy glass (electricsound), Thursday, 1 September 2005 01:14 (fourteen years ago) link

car song is on panic on. i would be surprised if anyone had to pay more than a fiver for the entire MR catalogue (and they should certainly do so)

jimmy glass (electricsound), Thursday, 1 September 2005 01:15 (fourteen years ago) link


jimmy glass (electricsound), Thursday, 1 September 2005 01:16 (fourteen years ago) link

magnapop are disappointing. and i was indifferent to the madder rose i heard.

stckhlm cnd (Jody Beth Rosen), Thursday, 1 September 2005 01:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Panic On has "Swim", one of my favorites. I never hear it anymore. Gotta dig it out. Magnapop...eh.

my name is john. i reside in chicago. (frankE), Thursday, 1 September 2005 02:39 (fourteen years ago) link

swim is on bring it down. top song

jimmy glass (electricsound), Thursday, 1 September 2005 02:50 (fourteen years ago) link

don't know the first madder rose record, but "sleep, forever" and the title song from the second album are fabulous dreamy pop songs. though for my $2.99 i'd prefer the magazine cd that's sitting between these two.

fact checking cuz (fcc), Thursday, 1 September 2005 03:04 (fourteen years ago) link

doh. absolutely right.


my name is john. i reside in chicago. (frankE), Thursday, 1 September 2005 03:05 (fourteen years ago) link

other great songs from the first album = beautiful john, while away, lights go down

jimmy glass (electricsound), Thursday, 1 September 2005 03:12 (fourteen years ago) link

razor pilot!

mookieproof (mookieproof), Thursday, 1 September 2005 03:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Madder Rose by fucking miles. I have the 1st 2 Magnapop albums, sold the third cos it was sub-Letters To Cleo shite, the 1st 2 have a couple of good songs each but that's about it.

I still love Bring It Down & Panic On. The other 2 had their moments but were pretty patchy.

Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:45 (fourteen years ago) link

oh, Madder Rose. they're all great albums, really.

'bring it down' is the debut... 'beautiful john' is a really pretty light jangle, 'while away' does the noise-fringed downer girl group thing better than anyone else ever, anywhere, and 'swim' is just dreamy. the other tracks are pretty killer too.

'panic on' was the second album, and i love about every song, but especially 'car song' (chorus: 'i think of you all day long / now try and get some sleep' [swooning guitar break] = PERFECTION), 'almost lost my mind' (where the guitars sound like steel drums, and mary sounds like karen carpenter), 'day in day out' (chorus: "you never even ask me how i feel") and 'when you smile' (chorus: "seems i only see you smile when you dream"). aw, this record is PERFECT.

'tragic magic' was the major-debut that suffered from dated post-trip hop production and no motivation from the label. there's some good stuff on there, but only 'hung up in you' and 'don greene' really kill.

'hello june fool' was their last, and i reckon it might be their best. darker, more mature, less upbeat, possessed of a real dreamy, opiated gloom that's like a really heavy, humid summer day, headache music. but the songs... especially 'should've known' (spector-pop melancholia), 'hello june fool' (a big squalling lazy anthem) and the heavy dub of 'dark rain'.

if you see any of these albums, i would say buy them.

stevie (stevie), Thursday, 1 September 2005 15:10 (fourteen years ago) link

I always really liked "altar boy" from Panic On

jb, Thursday, 1 September 2005 15:16 (fourteen years ago) link

The only two good songs by Magnapop are "Slowly, Slowly" and "Cherry Bomb" (which I don't know if it ever officially came out in the US. It was on a Pop Culture Press sampler and was fantastic, but the album it was supposedly off of didn't have it and sucked).
As a side question, Madder Rose did a Jackson Five cover ("Love You Save") that I haven't been able to find... Anybody got it? Can I get a YSI?

js (honestengine), Thursday, 1 September 2005 21:35 (fourteen years ago) link

Magnapop's "Open The Door" was a good one. Still give the nod to Madder Rose for "Beautiful John" and "Swim."

mattS, Thursday, 1 September 2005 23:19 (fourteen years ago) link


Mitch Mitchell (mitya), Tuesday, 6 September 2005 23:03 (fourteen years ago) link

Stevie is spot on about Panic On. I've loved that record ever since it came out - at first sight there's nothing all that original going on, but the way it joins the dots between the Brill building, Loaded-era VU, CBGBs, and the paisley underground is pretty peerless. My two favourites would be the sprawling, beautiful Foolish Ways and the countryish What Holly Sees.

Bring it Down is nearly as good, but I didn't really like Tragic Magic (bought in Tower Records in New Orleans!) and sold it eventually. From the sound of it I ought to get Hello June Fool though.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 08:13 (fourteen years ago) link

ten months pass...
Retracting - slightly - my yawn. I saw Magnapop live once, opening for... Bob Mould maybe. Enjoyed them well enough but found the album pretty weak.

Madder Rose somehow flew just below my radar for a few years without ever managing to attract my interest. But on the basis of "Car Song" alone, they're worth revisiting.

pleased to mitya (mitya), Sunday, 16 July 2006 03:40 (thirteen years ago) link

Anyone else notice that "Swim" sounds a lot like MBV's "Soft As Snow (But Warm Inside)"?

Cunga (Cunga), Sunday, 16 July 2006 04:15 (thirteen years ago) link

this one is easy: madder rose. can magnapop even come close? hell no.

mts (theoreticalgirl), Sunday, 16 July 2006 06:55 (thirteen years ago) link

three years pass...

"Texas", off Hot Boxing is an excellent song. Bob Mould's production gives the guitars a Sugary roar on the choruses, which accentuates their rush coming out of the verses. The singing is pretty much par for the early 90s indie course, but the Stipe-y backing vocals on the chorus are candy to a REM head like me.

Euler, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 15:41 (ten years ago) link

I've seen Magnapop and they were great live.

l'homme moderne: il forniquait et lisait des journaux (Michael White), Wednesday, 14 October 2009 15:48 (ten years ago) link

yeah, I saw them on the Sugar tour mentioned above and I enjoyed them a lot more than Sugar that night (that roar gets wearying after two hours).

Euler, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 15:50 (ten years ago) link

God I used to love that album.

*:--☆--:*:--☆:*:--☆--:*:--☆--: (ENBB), Wednesday, 14 October 2009 15:50 (ten years ago) link


Conscious now so you walk around
Awake enough to hold your ground
The river's edge, you jump right in
The current's strong, it makes you spin
Your arms in a wild rotation
Your arms in a wild rotation

Truth's enough to set you afloat
Describe the truth as a yellow life boat
Admitting this you climb the ladder
But now the yellow boat just looks

Hey Rose, hey Madder
Hey Rose, do I make you sadder?

*** *** ***

from memory, at least a decade down the line

a bleak, sometimes frightening portrait of ceiling cat (contenderizer), Wednesday, 14 October 2009 15:53 (ten years ago) link

i still miss madder rose

no bubo, no credibility (stevie), Wednesday, 14 October 2009 16:01 (ten years ago) link

I remember reading a review of Madder Rose ca. 1993 that made me want to hear them. But I never did.

So I'll take Magnapop by default -- I never heard any of their albums, either, but I really liked "Slowly, Slowly" and "Lay It Down."

M. Grissom/DeShields (jaymc), Wednesday, 14 October 2009 16:13 (ten years ago) link

ten months pass...

just listened to "Texas" off Hot Boxing---it's been a while, & I know the record was produced by Bob Mould, but this sounds like a Sugar song. I can't find anything online about the genesis of this song, but maybe someone here knows what kind of a role Mould played in the songwriting on this album? He isn't credited on any songs here, fwiw.

Euler, Monday, 23 August 2010 16:48 (nine years ago) link

Saw Madder Rose open for the Sundays in 1993. Pretty great show!

Ned Raggett, Monday, 23 August 2010 16:56 (nine years ago) link

every time this thread is revived i hope in vain for madder rose reunion/posting of rarities/live youtubes

(I'm in the "I'd rather have come coffee" camp) (stevie), Monday, 23 August 2010 16:58 (nine years ago) link

nine years pass...

there is a new madder rose album?!

mookieproof, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 23:07 (eight months ago) link

Huh. Didn't expect that!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 23:09 (eight months ago) link


mookieproof, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 23:09 (eight months ago) link


Colonel Poo, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 23:14 (eight months ago) link

One of my buddies is in Magnapop, they still do the occasional tour.

InternationalWaters, Thursday, 12 September 2019 13:52 (eight months ago) link

It's v good! The new LP, I mean...

SHANTY the golden fish portion (stevie), Thursday, 12 September 2019 22:04 (eight months ago) link

last thing I expected to see but welcome

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:13 (eight months ago) link

and not to be outdone... https://www.clashmusic.com/reviews/magnapop-the-circle-is-round

geoffreyess, Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:08 (eight months ago) link

impeccable timing

mookieproof, Saturday, 14 September 2019 19:33 (eight months ago) link

Love both these. Magnapop was doing a live on FB yesterday.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Saturday, 14 September 2019 21:12 (eight months ago) link

Magnapop. I cannot help but listen to Slowly, slowly" with velocity girl's "sorry again" and Spinane's "Spitfire" all in a row. they all belong together for me.

Yerac, Saturday, 14 September 2019 21:43 (eight months ago) link

Magnapop's "Lay It Down" was secretly one of the great songs of the 90s.

I don't get wet because I am tall and thin and I am afraid of people (Eliza D.), Saturday, 14 September 2019 22:14 (eight months ago) link

x-post - YES. My senior year of HS jams. <3

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Saturday, 14 September 2019 23:24 (eight months ago) link

mine too!

fremmes with neppavenettes (rip van wanko), Saturday, 14 September 2019 23:58 (eight months ago) link

saw magnapop in alaska circa 1995 with jon wurster filling in as emergency drummer

mookieproof, Sunday, 15 September 2019 00:02 (eight months ago) link

six months pass...

try to get some sleep

mookieproof, Sunday, 5 April 2020 02:23 (one month ago) link

easy for you to say, Mary!

Pinche Cumbion Bien Loco (stevie), Sunday, 5 April 2020 06:23 (one month ago) link

Great song, listening to it and that 2nd album a lot lately. It's odd I never checked out that 2nd album of theirs until recently because I loved their 1st one so much.

Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Sunday, 5 April 2020 08:49 (one month ago) link

The second is my favourite. Their fourth, Hello June Fool, is really, really excellent too.

Pinche Cumbion Bien Loco (stevie), Sunday, 5 April 2020 09:31 (one month ago) link

2nd LP is my first and still favourite, Drop a Bomb -> Ultra Anxiety -> Happy New Year especially.

Wuhan!! Got You All in Check (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 5 April 2020 09:49 (one month ago) link

They were so so great live, too. I remember an "unplugged" show at Dingwalls circa Panic On, with everyone plugged in and Johnny Kick playing conga with empty Evian bottles, that was just wonderfulness. They did the best covers, too.

Pinche Cumbion Bien Loco (stevie), Sunday, 5 April 2020 17:25 (one month ago) link

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