STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 162750-24261 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Mini-album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £12.00
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
During my travels in the USA, my rental car always came with a myriad of music stations but the one I returned to most was First Wave. Listening to Max's new release I bet it's his favourite station too. It plays early '80s pop from Depeche Mode to Duran Duran and The Smiths to The Cure. His new release is saturated with those influences and echoes of classic '80s pop from the "Muzick Is Magic"'s "Rock Lobster" vibe to the "The Reflex" Duran Duran backing vocal stylings on "Panic Button". After graduating as the bad boy of Christian music when he left dc Talk, his time in Audio Adrenaline allowed him a period of rehabilitation and he's not wasted these new opportunities with the perfect collision of artsy song writing and spiritual themes explored on this album. Whether it's the mysticism of "William Blake" or on "Panic Button" the invitation to reach out to God and "push the panic button and let go and let God in," there's so much to love here. Also, I love Stu G's guitar work across the whole album which adds to the overall sound. There's the atmospheric vibe of "Girl With The Tiger Eyes" and "Election" which just add to my conviction that out of his three former bandmates, he's the only one continuing to really push back the frontiers of creativity. Every time I listen I discover something new. Now that he owns his own Blind Thief recording studio, I anticipate he'll continue to intrigue us with plenty of new projects. My only criticism here is that eight tracks and 38 minutes in length leaves me wanting much, much more.
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