Those sensing a familiar sound to some of the tracks here may be forgiven as New York singer, songwriter and guitar guru, Brad Hammonds has combined some previously released and re-arranged titles with brand new material for this, his latest album.
The moody but melodic strains that have made his previous recordings so distinctive run deep once again despite this being a solo project following his successful Shoulders of Giants venture with Tom Crowley in 2010. The new tracks dovetail seamlessly with the revived pieces and still maintain that trademark Hammonds sound, mostly due to his distinctive guitar style, though this time with a more gritty feel thanks to his more industrial but organic vocal style. The polished production of "She's in Love" mean this track is always a highlight in any album and the picking guitar style and haunting vocals of title track “Code of a Mad Man” sound as good as ever. “Above the Crowd” illustrates the direction Hammonds has gone since writing alone with a slow starting yet carefully constructed combination of guitar, percussion and bass with the help of old cohorts Jason Di Matteo and Dave Wilkie, the song reaches a natural crescendo before fading gently into the distance. “Everyone Will Be a star” shows the ability of Hammonds to mix light and dark, with an tongue in cheek look at reality television in modern culture, even more ironic as some of his previous work has been used on a number of top rating reality TV shows. The curtain is brought down by the uplifting "Your prayers”, which incorporates the subtle use of cello that only goes to enhance the piercing sound of acoustic guitar which Hammonds appears to thrash out effortlessly yet still at a thunderous pace. The growing number of fans that have followed this New York performer, through bands such as Brazz Tree and Shoulders of Giants will not be disappointed with his latest efforts and will also be pleased to see that despite sailing the ship alone once again he is still able to produce the goods with a suggestion there is more to come.