Diversions


Music Review: Max Indian by uncdiversions
December 12, 2008, 6:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Max Indian

You Can Go Anywhere, Do Anything

(self-released)

There’s just something about your favorite pair of jeans. Faded and frayed in all the right places and aged to a semi-threadbare point that allows for soft, warming comfort while still easily covering up the fact that they could rip down the seam, those old jeans are like a reassuring old friend that easily fits around your torso.

Full of well-rendered pop hooks with inspiration that could easily be found in your parents’ record collection and heart-warming back-porch wit, You Can Go Anywhere, Do Anything, the full-length debut from Carrboro’s Max Indian, comfortably wraps its way around the listener’s ears just like that comfy old pair or pants.

Captured in cozy lo-fi, the band revels in sounds that should, by this point in time, be all too familiar, and somehow makes them feel exciting and fresh.

“Whatever Goes Up,” borrows the stomping piano-bass combo of many Beatles songs to lend more obvious humor to such quips as “Physics, I’m afraid, just doesn’t care/How fun it is to fly up in the air.” The easily recognizable, irresistibly chugging rhythm is a perfect counterpoint for a song that reminds the listener that there are some dreams that gravity just won’t let you jump high enough to catch.

In songs such as this, Max Indian displays an ability to make things that are so familiar that they are barely thought of seem like essentials that must always be kept in mind. It’s a feat that accomplished largely through a combination of down-to-earth songwriting and energetic performances fueled by flashes of blistering guitar work by Nick Jaeger and Carter Gaj.

The roaring riff that introduces “Now I Know” emphasizes the catharcis that Gaj is searching for as he earnestly mocks himself for causing his own troubles in love. “I confused being in love with being used,” he sings, doing more than Jimmy Buffet ever did to throw away the rock stereotype that the girl is always to blame.

But the cream of the crop is “Heaven Help Us.” Harnessing the twang of straight-up Southern rock, the band delivers the message that no matter what you believe in, the only thing that really matters is that you have faith. “Whatever it is that you’re dreaming of,/You can rest assured that it won’t mean a thing if you don’t have love,” sings Gaj, reminding the listener that with faith, the feeling’s far more important than the facts.

It’s not an unusual message, but it’s one that’s always good to hear, especially when delivered with the sincerity it receives here. It’s that sincerity that gives the record a wonderful comfort. And just like that old pair of jeans, it’s a comfort that should make You Can Go Anywhere an item that’s almost impossible to throw away.

Max Indian will celebrate the release of You Can Go Anywhere with a party Saturday night at Local 506. The Old Ceremony and The Love Language also play. The show starts at 10 p.m. and costs $8.

– By Assistant Diversions Editor Jordan Lawrence

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