Fresh, energetic, modern rock with a dark but hook oriented twist." Madison Project was formed in the winter of 2006. Ryan MacNeill(guitar/vocals) and Forrest Thomas (drums) left their previous band to pursue a different path musically. Ryan started to turn a new direction in writing, with heavier songs and more focus on songwriting and hooks. In the fall of 2006, they met up with bassist Ben Kogan from Boston, MA. The diverse background from each musician gives an interesting twist to modern rock music. Madison Projects’ lyrics touch on the subject of life, loss, nightmares, addiction, and this other world that we might find but are too blind to see. Ryan MacNeill grew up in the suburbs of Worcester, Massachusetts and was heavily influenced by the expanding community of the local street punk scene, later branching out to the West Coast underground scene of the mid 90's punk rock bands, most of which were located in the Southern California area. Ryan has played on the Van's Warped Tour stage and shared the stage with national acts such as The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Dispatch. Forrest spent his early days in Los Angeles; playing drums frequently at clubs like The Roxy, Troubadour and The Whiskey Go-Go. He then relocated back to his home state of Vermont. Madison Project connected with Producer/Engineer Frank Aversa (Spin Doctors/The Hazies) and Musical Director Robby Baier to record their debut album, "I Am The Target." Madison Project is a high energy live show that will bring your soul to a new level.” I am the Target,' is set for release on ThunderCreek Records.
Burlington Vermont's rock & roll band, Madison Project, is certainly not the a capella group of the same name from James Madison University at Harrisburg, Virginia or the conservative Political Action Committee that also has the same moniker. What this Madison Project has is a powerful united front that explodes off the disc with the very first song, the under 3 minute "Rock It" that has a terrific sliding guitar riff and an unforgettable hook which might have some objectionable lyrics hidden in between the phrasing. Strongly superb hard pop that has no jangle, just a heavy rhythm that makes you want to crank it to eleven. The band clearly burns through the set list on this disc with ease, and though not everything is up to the level of "Rock It", "Frequent Destroyer" and "Fallen", it's still very good, consistent rock & roll that doesn't let up. "Revolution" could be the fourth image that follows John Lennon's trilogy from the White Album, only this "Revolution" extends beyond the bands usual territory into a funk-derived quasi-ska lecture. "Burn It Down" is a heavy ballad that moves at its own slow pace, Ryan MacNeill's vocals appealing throught this disc while Frank Aversa's production cleanly captures all that's going on. Smartly packaged and efficiently performed the group shows much potential with an edge and material that combines clever ideas with a good time vibe. "Masters Flying" is another key moment with wild abandon and a solid catch phrase. Absolutely built for college stations, some of these songs are good enough to compete with any of the notable bands in the marketplace and could easily fit on commercial radio. Fact is, commercial radio would be the better for it if "Rock It" or "Frequent Destroyer" get the opportunity to dance on the airwaves. Much of I Am The Target is right on target.
-Joe Viglione, All Music Guide
The guys in Madison project give you fresh, energetic, modern rock with a dark but hook oriented twist. Their self-titled debut album not only solitifies their spot on the scene but gives them the ammunition they need to leave their mark. Coming from Vermont the guys knew they needed a powerful hook driven record, and that is exactly what they put out. Tracks like “Rock It” and “Fallen” set you up to be knocked down by the powerful vocals and guitars in “Masters Flying.” Overal the band has a solid debut effort which should not only put them atop those in their hometown scene but atop those from around the country.
-Mike Ty –the daily chorus
In their debut album, Madison Project presents I Am the Target, classic rock tinged with punk, tied up neatly with moving lyrics. Bandmates Ryan MacNeill on guitar and vocals, Forrest Thomas on drums and Ben Kogan on bass, combine their musical experiences and play on influences like Blink 182, NoFx, Bouncing Souls, Homegrown and The Vandals, creating a successful rock album. Madison Project shows their talent with tracks like “Sedation” and “Take It All,” both passionate, almost frantic tracks with angry lyrics. However, Madison Project just keeps them in control, which adds to the overall rock groove they easily produce. Another excellent track is “Fallen,” which opens with skilled guitar riffs, and the vocals are outstanding. The combination of the two with a simple chorus and strong backbeat serve to make “Fallen” one of the best tracks on the album. Madison Project falls slightly flat with “Burn It Down,” which starts out with promise, but fails to get past its dragging pace. While I Am the Target has a couple of tracks that have the potential of being duds, like “Burn It Down,” which could be more memorable if it weren’t a ballad, other tracks, like “Sedation,” stand out. Overall, the album is worth listening to once, especially if one is a fan of rock. Madison Project excels at up-tempo, punk-inspired rock tracks, but still hasn’t found its feet with slower, ballad-type tracks.
- C.J. Trent - thecelebritycafe.com
No, this isn't the organization of the same name that raises money for candidates through a network of grassroots conservatives - heaven forbid. This is a stylish new act that's making news simply by delivering unpretentious rock with a decidedly pop bent. Highlights include the opener "Rock It" - quite a refreshing sentiment- as well as "Take It All" and "Burn It Down." This album sounds barely produced, and that's a compliment; what the world needs now is rock, sweet rock.
-Syl Nathan- Goodtimes Magazine (April 2008-Issue 988)