pMad – Who Why Where What
Release Date: November 29, 2022
Label: Sliptrick Records
Format: Album | CD/Digital
Duration: 40:16/51:42 | 11 tracks + 2 bonus tracks
Genre: Post Punk / Gothic Rock / Darkwave
Origin: Portumna, County Galway, Ireland

This is not a Cult

pMad is the brainchild of Galway’s solo artists Paul Dillon who looks back onto a long time of playing in Irish bands such as The Greeting or The Suicidal Dufflecoats. The first signs of life were sent back in December 2021 when Dillon presented his first single as pMadWho am I‚. Like the following single releases ‚Medicine‚ (February 2022), ‚Broken‚ (April 2022), ‚Horror‚ (June 2022), and ‚Sisters‚ (August 2022), the first output is also contained on the album on hand. „Who Why Where What“ is pMad’s longplayer debut, and it is a legit product of the Coronacene. Paul Dillon began writing and recording in the middle of the pandemic, and besides guest vocalist Liam Martin, nobody but Dillon has contributed to the sounds on „Who Why Where What“.

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From the Depths of the Mind

It is therefore no surprise that „Who Why Where What“ predominantly addresses two topics. On the one hand, there are thoughts about humankind, life on Earth, and the future of our planet with our without our society. And on the other hand, the self plays an important role here. pMad concerns an indicidual’s role in society, issues of self-definition, self-worth, and mental health. Thus, „Who Why Where What“ illuminates both, the big picture of the Anthropocene in turmoil, and the microscopic effects on the individual.

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Per aspera ad astra

Similar to the last two years, pMad’s „Who Why Where What“ is a journey through dark passages and gloomy suspense. By combining musical styles Post Punk, Gothic and New Wave, and stirring them up with the 1980s-like feeling of uncertainty, pMad creates a heavily thrilling sonic narrative. This musical journey is defined by a cohesive structure and a constant tension that makes the narrative go forth despite all the darkness around.

Movement is a constant feature of „Who Why Where What“ – no matter if it is the album’s protagonist who is moving themselves as in ‚Youth‘ or if it is the world that passes by their perspective as in ‚Medicine‘. This movement follows a golden line which – just like in real life – is not a straight line but an up and down. Nevertheless, the overall direction is a salutogenetic one, as „Who Why Where What“ gradually moves from ‚Who am I‘ to ‚I am‘. It is hence a healing process that we can follow by listening to the album.

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Devils and Demons will always be there

As dark as it is, „Who Why Where What“ conveys a very positive and hopeful message. And as much as that is, it is yet very sober. The latest single release ‚Sisters‘ is a beautful example for this honest perspective. The synthesizing and motivating soundscape feels like the way out of a long depressive episode. Thus, the joyful atmosphere is accompanied by the sober reminder that one can fight the downs but one can never defeat them.

Lovers of melancholic, gloomy and yet dynamic music are well advised to listen to this album in a session together with InDecision’s „ID“. „Who Why Where What“ is a great release for dark dancefoors and for exploring one’s self.
8/10 Mangoes

All pictures by courtesy of pMad/Paul Dillon

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