And so to another band that were introduced to me via a mid-90s cassette compilation by Jacques the Kipper.

Madder Rose were a four-piece band from New York. The main songwriter was lead guitarist Billy Cote, but the vocal duties were taken by rhythm guitarist Mary Lorson. They emerged in 1993 with a sound quite different from the grungy stuff that had dominated indie music for the proceeding 2 years, and a million miles away from Britpop that was shortly to take over. In other words, they were doomed to be no more than a cult footnote in history thanks to being in the wrong place at exactly the wrong time.

I don’t own too many of their songs – they released three LPs and handful of other singles/EPs before disbanding in 1999, but the dozen or so tracks I do have I thoroughly enjoy. Mrs V struggles to rate many bands with female singers, and Madder Rose she describes as ‘the sort of rubbish you fall for’.

Altered Images, Belly, Everything But The Girl and The Sundays are among many others that Mrs V would put in the same category….

These are the four tracks from a 10″ single released in 1994:-

mp3 : Madder Rose – Car Song
mp3 : Madder Rose – Johnny Take A Ride
mp3 : Madder Rose – The Widow Song
mp3 : Madder Rose – Holiday

Here’s another of their singles that I’m fond of, courtesy of an NME best of 93 compilation CD:-

mp3 : Madder Rose – Madder Rose



  1. I agree, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was lucky enough to catch them live at the Astoria in 1994 (right place, right time!) – they were v good. I remember thinking Mary was very ‘unglamorous’ for a front woman – and that was refreshing – but she wasn’t perhaps as memorable as some other female vocalists of the time?

  2. Great band. Saw them live at the Boardwalk, in Manchester, in 1993. The first album and first few singls/EPs especially, are great. Lorson’s later work is well worth checking out, too.

  3. Always loved Madder Rose – caught them live a couple of times when I lived down in London… always a great show. They even got a couple of songs televised from Glastonbury I recall.

  4. Madder Rose managed to incorporate some of the best elements of Shoegaze while keeping a certain level of US Alternative Rock credibility. I saw them once early on and was surprised how much I actually liked them. What set them apart was how confident their sound was.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.