Written by: Skid
20 or so years in the making and coming into fruition through the pandemic, Paul Dillon’s project pMad‘s debut album Who Why Where What was released via Sliptrick Records in November 2022. Hailing from Portumna, Eire, where the river Shannon meets Lough Derg, Dillon spent the Covid months embracing technology, moulding and piecing his material from old and new ideas, lyrics, and life experiences into a raw collection of eight original tracks which were then remotely produced (Dominik Hanold, Germany) and mastered (Pepe Ortega, Mexico), allowing for an additional five re-mixes, resulting in this album covering a tad over 50 minutes of original music.
Is it any good? That, of course is down to the individual listener’s taste, and ultimately personal preference. This record is a melting pot of various blends, to the point of being schizophrenic. Tracks 1-8 are, for me, slap bang 1986 Sisters of Mercy between their debut album First Last and Always (‘85) and the massive follow up Floodland (‘87). Ironically, the track Sisters seems fitting as an example of this, then add a dollop of same era Killing Joke, The The & The Mission and it becomes a nostalgic homage, with a modern twist, to the goth-punk genre of those years. However, this is not the end of the story, as the remaining five re-mixes are re-worked; some extended, some with added dance beats and sounding more Steve Strange-era Visage and The Prodigy than punk and the mash-up resembles something of a bastard child between Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Rammstein, and it is here I feel Dillon may have perhaps created a work of genius. It’s not to my taste, but I am not a youngster on a dance floor in a poorly lit subterranean club in a dodgy yet chic part of town at 4 AM. I am not overly sure of the mixed signals, which demographic this is aimed at, nor can I decide if Paul Dillon is 40 years too late for the goth party, 30 years behind the Manchester dance scene, or if is he so pre-on trend and cutting edge that he is now where it is all going to be at. It may not be your classic rock bag, but I can be confident your kids will love some, if not all of it.
What I am sure of is Who Why Where What is a unique and enjoyable selection of songs, and all said and done, hats off to Dillon for his music. which is very much worthy of a listen. Don’t be surprised if pMad crops up in 2023 at the forefront of a new sub-culture, which I am hailing right here and right now as the New Wave of Irish Punk Dance.
1. Who Am I
4. Except Me
8. I Am
9. Who Am I (pMad reMix)
10. Youth (pMad reMix)
11. Sisters (Extended Keira Mix)
12. Horror (hoMe Mix)
13. I Am (Me Mix)