Larry Mills

The air was charged with anticipation last Wednesday night at SOhO for the Corporate Nightmare CD release party, a long-awaited event one-and-one-half years in the making. Both The White Fires of Venus and Zach Madden were dropping their new albums, and the crowd was eager to see what the hype was all about. The three bands-Kinothek, The White Fires of Venus, and Zach Madden-delivered, playing a show that was everything from soft and emo-friendly to harder rock with Hendrix-meets-Clapton stylings.

Kinothek kicked off the night, playing an hour-long set with much exultation from the still-forming crowd. Although the band has yet to release a CD, its song “Small Vessel” got the crowd on its feet and set the tone for the evening. After a short break, The White Fires of Venus slowed it down a notch with some melodic guitar picking. The island bluegrass set was headed up by Venus frontman-also Madden’s bass player-Jeff Sparks, whose lulling voice was a nice fit for the band’s cover of Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”

When Madden, co-owner and producer of Corporate Nightmare Records, took the stage, the last hesitation of the crowd was gone and people pushed forward to watch an acoustic and electric guitar duo. With its deft synth, drums, and bass playing, Madden’s show was the most energetic of the evening, certainly worth the $5 cover charge.

The night was wholly focused on the music, and that is a testament to what Corporate Nightmare is all about. According to Mike Echternacht, co-owner and general manager of the label, his ultimate goal is to allow the artists to maintain their rights over their work and to promote them as they deserve. “We’re there to facilitate them getting heard,” he said. And get heard they did.

That Echternacht came through is certainly no surprise to his signed bands, whose futures are looking brighter by the day. And though upcoming events for Corporate Nightmare are yet to be disclosed, you can get updates at


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