Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Max Indian - You Can Go Anywhere, Do Anything

This album is my current obsession.

The songwriting by Carter Gaj is classically great, like Beatles-informed great, like tunes-we-long-for great. There are influences poking out, but they are seamlessly combined into something that feels new to these ears. The production is weird and cloudy and slightly off-putting; when something with a small degree of treble breaks through the darkness like a shaft of light, it helps point out the other little shimmers already there. The singing is low-keyed, almost unnoticeable in the midst of the sonic blur. Yet, when you focus on it, the voice is perfect for the songs' lyrics. It's effortless and soft and questioning. James Wallace does double duty on ambient, trashy drums and smart piano; he had a lot to do with the production here as well, deserving a big thanks and a little WTF--it's almost as if the album was designed to make the listener work harder to extract the little gems embedded in the sonic swamp.

I've seen Max Indian live a total of one time, when they played with Luego at the Pour House in Raleigh. Even then, as a new listener, I sensed something majestic and timeless about the music as it went by. This album, which defies the concept of using every last minute of sonic clarity available to the artist, is nine songs' worth of great music. I wish it was longer, but it makes me anxious to hear more.

I think the only place you can buy this record is from their myspace page, but I cannot recommend You Can Go Anywhere, Do Anything enough without suggesting buying multiple copies of this little masterpiece to spread around to your serious music-listening friends near and afar.


Russell said...

Hey Peter,
Good luck on your Continental Drifters gig Friday night! I hope to be there - my wife Leah and I are driving down from Chicago to enjoy New Orleans this coming weekend - the Jazz Fest - and hopefully you guys!

Russ Van Rooy

hoover factory said...

All that, and (having ordered a copy and listened to it on headphones) it's in mono!

Moose said...

I, too, bought this CD and was a bit surprised. I can see why you would enjoy this CD. I really don't want to label this... great hooks, great lyrics. I would like to hear Mitch and Dixon produce this... but it's nice just as it is. I have 3 cuts playing on Comboland Radio. Thanks for writing about this CD. I may not have heard about it otherwise.

Looking forawrd to hERE aND nOW!

smashgrab said...

this album is genius. great work. i cannot stop listening to it. they need to get out there and TOUR and make it big time!

Anonymous said...

It's uncanny how much I agree with this review. I think the production is perfect and also sometimes a weakness if that's even possible. I have bought 6 copies of this and actually want to get more to spread around. It's a classic and one that needs to find more people around the world. I can't wait for the next one. They play 2 great tracks live that they didn't include on this album (lookout and big world) and they're both two cornerstones to build another lp on.