Max and the Wild Things
You’ll like it if…
…you are a fan of music that resembles world fusion cuisine.
Beware of the bands that use double “alt-” in their descriptions; they can be really dangerous. Even if it is mostly in a good way as with Max and the Wild Things. This four-piece is trying to fit into the alt(x2) country and blues genre, however their sophomore “Neptune’s Crown”, is not really easy to label. It is an infusion of funk and punk, British indie gloominess and Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque playfulness.
Mixing folk in the vein of Fleetwood Mac and Dave Matthew-y funky jams (“High on the Range”, “Neptune’s Crown”), Max and the Wild Things hop quite comfortably from tropicalia to dusty Jagger’s blues (“Drifting, Stirring”), explore the punky bass guitar lines, with a pinch of banjo on occasions (“Keep me Around”), and wander through the 50s Motown and rock and roll’s “orgasmic gyrations” a là the King of Rock and Roll (“Twisted”). A country vibe and its finger-picked guitar are still part of the formula, with some “not-quite-Austrian-Yodel” in the end (“Wind through the Window”), that still makes this album off-the-wall, unpredictable and therefore quite tricky to judge. Mixing different styles can be dangerous (surf pop and Brit pop in “Goodbye Dawn”), but it never gets boring, right?
The spirit behind “Neptune’s Crown” is the one of the 60s (cue nostalgic sigh), in which bands jammed everywhere and everything, mixing and matching different influences and personal preferences, during one of those small local music festivals. Max and his wild things want us to join them in this journey, unconventional and imperfect, but that’s how we like it: rough, colorful and bubbly.