There aren’t many artists that have had a more radical change in musical direction than The Madden Brothers. Far from the pop punk rockers we knew as Good Charlotte, the boys’ first single from latest album Greetings From California, We Are Done, was surprisingly rooted in soul rhythm and 70’s pop. And what a delightful surprise it was! Few artists could pull off such a change without it feeling contrived, but The Madden Brothers did their thing with the ease and charisma they’re known for, and the result was a change that felt more like a natural evolution of music than a PR scripted stunt for shock value. Surely I can be forgiven for thinking that was it. We Are Done was the example of The Madden Brothers new sound and Greetings From California would be full of super cool 70’s inspired tunes that were in a similar vain.
Wrong! The Madden Brothers have slapped me across the face with new single Brixton that takes them, once again, in a whole new direction. Marching percussion. Rife harmonies. Surf-culture verses. Sing-song chorus. There is only one band Brixton can be compared to, and that is The Beach Boys. You read that right. The Madden Brothers are channeling the Wilson Brothers with their own brand of California sound, and it couldn’t be more fitting. There is a hint of Good Vibrations in the arrangement of the bridge and the chorus screams Wouldn’t It Be Nice. But Benji and Joel certainly aren’t copying a sound, but paying tribute to it in a way that is current and ridiculously good.
I want to be friends with these guys. I want to listen to old records and go to bonfires on the beach and sing harmonies for them in my backyard. They are just so cool, and what they are doing right now is magic. What they have done with Greetings From California only proves to me that even as a fan, I have severely underestimated them. So well done boys, when are we hanging out?