I’m going to start by saying, I absolutely adore this song! I can already tell this is a song that I’m going to have on repeat for ages. It had me nodding my head along to the energetic driving drums upon first listen, and I feel like that’s a great early indication of a fantastic catchy song. There’s no slow start with ‘One Way Road’, it’s straight into the fun, and it feels like you’re in a sports car going 100 miles per hour with your head hanging out of the window, an absolute thrill ride.
Mad Simple are a four piece indie rock band from Bournemouth, and I have to say, the name suits them perfectly. They’ve not tried to overdo this track by adding all these fancy production tricks, they’ve kept it simple. There’s plenty of breathing room in this track, they’ve not tried to cram every second with fast guitar solos or screeching vocals. Instead, there’s points in the song where it’s just the drums and the chugging bass line. And I think that’s what really helps keep this song interesting. I can’t help but compare their style to that of Catfish & The Bottlemen, it caters to both the mainstream audience who would give it a few listens after hearing it on the radio, and the hardcore indie head who listens to this kind of music all day every day.
I don’t think I’ve come across a song where I’d argue that the verses are more catchy than the chorus. I especially love the pre chorus where the guitar does this ascending riff which helps with the build up, again it’s typical indie rock, but it doesn’t feel stale or old, it feels fresh and exciting. And although I’ve compared the band to Catfish & The Bottlemen, I also hear a little bit of 2017 Liam Gallagher in the singer when the verse first starts. The vocals feel smooth, I think the professional term is head voice, the sound is being produced from the back of the throat and nose rather than from the stomach. But that’s what I like, it’s different. You can feel that the singer is capable of producing those powerful moments if he needs to, but he knows what the song needs.
Towards the end of the song, the words “One-a- way, one-a-way-road” are sung throughout. It only happens twice, but it’s not something that the song needs to rely on in order to make it catchy and memorable. In fact I think if it were sung a few more times, then it would just get lost within the pumping instrumental. That’s another reason why I love this song, everything feels so carefully crafted and thought through. There’s this perfect balance of every instrument, the drums, the bass, the two guitars and of course the vocals. They’ve not tried to cram in all these extra lines, they’ve done enough talking, they’ve taken the listener on the perfect journey. My only complaint is at the length of the song, but it’s only because I don’t want it to stop. The song is 2:11, quite short in today’s market, but I also think that benefits new listeners. It doesn’t drag on and make you wonder how much longer until the next song starts. It’s a great introduction to the band's sound and would be perfect for someone looking to get into both the band and that genre of music…but I’m selfish and I want it to last longer simply because it’s so brilliant! I even found myself air drumming after the second listen!
I could sit here and rave to you about how brilliant this song is, but I would be here all day and all night. And I know I’ve said it before, but it just does feel like an instant classic. It also gives me that feeling you get when you discover an old song that you love. You’ve got a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face. So congratulations once again Mad Simple for creating something so brilliant! In my opinion, a song that would go perfectly live in a small club on a Friday night with a glass of Vodka Lemonade to hand.
Written by Jack Saunders
Frazer Mitchell - Producer, DJ, and Events Coordinator at Antix Music Network