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Maximum Mad: Noise Rock With Minimum Bullshit

Maximum mad

Noise rock has experienced a plethora of emerging talent over the last few years. As a genre, it tends to be unencumbered by mediocrity; bands usually either do it very well, or not at all. That may be due to most of the people involved not taking themselves too seriously and having, you know, fun. From the sound of things, Portland newcomers Maximum Mad are definitely having a ball. Though they’ve been together barely a year, all four band members have put in time with other projects like Men Of Porn, Kakihara, and Year Of The Coyote. Their musical chops are on point, right from the first lurching lockstep riffs and rolling rhythm on opener “Affluenza.” “I’m so fuckin’ bored / And you’re so fuckin’ needy” exclaims bassist/vocalist Jayson Smith, just acerbic enough to make one wonder if he’s sincere or not.

Song titles like “Lucky Coward,” “Weird Hand, ” and “Obscene Gestures,” along with the front-loaded bass and caustic guitars that accompany them, recall the AmRep and Hydrahead back catalogues that Maximum Mad obviously worship, and rightly so. Stephan Hawkes (Red Fang, Gaytheist) recorded the band live, resulting in a raw, punchy vibe and kinetic energy that recalls classics like Hammerhead’s Duh, The Big City and Cows’ Sexy Pee Story. Unlike, say, the countless stoner rock bands that just try to rewrite Welcome To Sky Valley or Master Of Reality, Dear Enemy can trace its lineage to a widely varying group that includes everyone from Botch to Coalesce, Unsane to Nirvana. Their common threads – a simmering-to-boiling tension, the dizzying pull and release song structures, feedback as its own instrument – are built seamlessly into Dear Enemy. Abrasive? Definitely. Aggressive? Sure. That noise rock sweet spot, where it’s just catchy enough to worm into your brain and nest for a decade or so? Welcome to the big leagues, guys.

Dear Enemy will be released on 9/15 via Good To Die. Follow Maximum Mad on Facebook.

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