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Articles Home » 1992 Articles » Max, The - 1992 Vinyl Valentine
Max, The - 1992 Vinyl Valentine

ARTIST: Max, The
ALBUM: Vinyl Valentine
LABEL: Vision Records
YEAR: 1992


LINEUP: Kyle Brenner - vocals, guitars, cello * Jack Holmes - bass, vocals * John Brenner - drums, keyboards, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Underneath It All * 02 Nevermore The Raven * 03 Lanissa * 04 When All I Have Is Taken * 05 Want You Back * 06 Rainbow Black * 07 If I Fall From Grace * 08 Another Good Story * 09 All The Wiser * 10 Footprints In My Garden * 11 Big Fat Blonde

How many melodic rock bands have ventured out of the state of Montana? I'm sure you could count them on one hand, if not that then one finger. The only notable I can think of in recent times is former Russia and Force 10 alumni Griff Stevens who is enjoying the great outdoors these days. Surprisingly, the other outfit that fits the bill is the power pop/party rock trio The Max, who have been in the biz for twenty two years - believe it or not. Despite being geographically challenged (it could be worse George.. they could hail from Alaska or North Dakota!), The Max have travelled and played all over the USA, sharing the stage with the likes of Styx, REO Speedwagon, Foghat and the Atlanta Rhythm Section. No mean feat indeed. The band included Kyle and John Brenner, plus bassist Eddie White for their 1989 debut release - the independent 'Shadows In The Shade', which was initially released on cassette. By 1992, the band had a new bassist Jack Holmes, and a new album in the bag - 'Vinyl Valentine'.

The Songs
If you wind the clock back to 1992, a chap called Mitch Malloy was busy making his presence felt, and a track like 'Underneath It All' has the word doppleganger written all over it. The acoustic/electric jangly vibe combined with the big drums hits the mark from the outset. The arrangement on 'Nevermore The Raven' has U2's trademark but thankfully doesn't degenerate to their level. The acoustic guitars take the focus on the upbeat rocker 'Lanissa'; it's followed by the meandering 'When All I Have Is Taken', a ballad. The party pop/rock of 'Want You Back' is the sort of tune you can hear being belted in clubs/bars across the USA. Continuing the fun-frilled antics is 'If I Fall From Grace', but these two are overtaken by the melodic shake 'n stir of 'All The Wiser', tight guitar struts on the verses and glazed rhythm work on the choruses make this a winner. Forget 'Footprints In My Garden' - a ballad that pales against the rest of the material, while the crass closer 'Big Fat Blonde' will surely cause anxiety among the Anorexic Community!

In Summary
If bands such as Company Of Wolves, Xenon, Tonto Tonto and The Sighs register any excitement on your thrill-o-meter, then The Max might just be worth a listen. The band are still in operation at the moment, with Kyle Brenner, bassist Frank O'Connor and drummer Mike Young taking up the resident spots within the band. Their current hiatus is understandably low-key. Must be all those wide open spaces and clean air (is there such a thing? Al Gore would say otherwise..) up in Montana.

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#1 | swazi on October 15 2012 17:48:57
Wow, wow, wow ...! What a great release! Not really sure if it exists in CD format, but this is the stuff that Rock Candy should focus on as reissue!
#2 | swazi on November 10 2013 14:05:27
I can happily report that it does exist in CD format. Found one on the mentioned Vision Records label. Love it! Smile
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