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Articles Home » 2013 Articles » Maxx Explosion - 2013 Forever
Maxx Explosion - 2013 Forever

ARTIST: Maxx Explosion
ALBUM: Forever
LABEL: Kivel Records
YEAR: 2013


LINEUP: Chris McCarvill - vocals, bass * Jimi Bell - guitar, vocals * BJ Zampa - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Devils Locomotive * 02 Falling Away * 03 Cross Your Heart * 04 Don't Wanna Break * 05 Love Is A Nightmare * 06 Rise * 07 End Of The Line * 08 Demon Wheel * 09 Can't Stop Falling * 10 Beat Around The Bush * 11 Famous * 12 Suicide Door * 13 Forever



It's been an eye-opening exercise looking at some of the recent Kivel Records signings. Over the course of a dozen years or so, their output hasn't been that prolific. Also, there appears to be some favouritism towards a handful of bands: Adriangale being one of those. Of more interest, is the signing of the trio Maxx Explosion. Trainspotters should easily recognise the names in this outfit as those belonging to House Of Lords. Given some room to explore musical ideas outside the pompdom of James Christian's band, Maxx Explosion are a literal interpretation of that term. 'Forever' is a very heavy-handed affair with no hand-holding from the HOL connection. In fact, it's a near complete divorce! The operative word being 'near', but not totally..

The Songs
I love the way the trio bowl into things with the immense 'Devils Locomotive'. Maybe it's Ozzy's 'Crazy Train' given a 2013 re-imaging?

'Falling Away' is pretty damn heavy but provides a means to connect to melodic realms thanks to its catchy chorus.

'Cross Your Heart' is a doppelganger for Winger surely? What's the story here lads? lol!

Maxx Explosion explore their slower tendencies on 'Don't Wanna Break', a nice guitar melody holds this one together, and it comes across well.

The House Of Lords relationship could take some credit for the pompous sounding 'Love Is A Nightmare', I like it a lot!

'Rise' is full of sound effects and heavy dramatics, a people's anthem for our current life and times.

'End Of The Line' features some big drums and pumping bass lines. An 80's sounding number that fits this album to a tee.

Chris McCarvill shows off some impressive bass work on 'Demons Wheel', a 2 minute instrumental which segues into ME's most commercial offering 'Can't Stop Falling', a Triumph inspired affair among other references points.

'Beat Around The Bush' is perhaps the band's most gonzo moment, the trio going hell for leather without room for sentiment nor subtlety.

'Famous' is another 80's throwback, big shout-out vocals gives it a 'sort-of' comparison to their parent band though the style and arrangement are nothing like HOL.

Opening up the 'Suicide Door' leads one into a David Lee Roth like work-out, with the humour and thumping rhythm section recalling Diamond Dave's best moments.

Last track 'Forever' showcases yet another different side to Maxx Explosion's versatility. A deep impressionable song played in a slower tempo. Power ballad mostly with a 70's organ sound adding to the ambi-scape. I liked this song a lot, but found the production quite awkward to listen to.

In Summary
If there is one concern, it's the thudding and murky sound, particularly the guitars. If this was an attempt to achieve a certain metal sound, then it worked, but up to a point. I could detect some keyboards in the mix, but they were smothered by the wall-of-sound technique employed. Not that keys were a focus anyway, but you get my point. 'Forever' is a variable album of styles, you don't quite know what genre of hard rock these boys are aiming for. Sort of like 'throw it out there and see what sticks'. Despite that, I like what Maxx Explosion have to offer as a band, and I'm sure they will be around for awhile to come. A bit of refinement and focus is all that's required, and once that's achieved, then who knows how good this lot could become.

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#1 | gdazegod on December 14 2013 13:57:43
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#2 | rkbluez on December 14 2013 14:01:33
Good ear George...I really like this album also but probably would of loved it if not for the brickwalled production...boy did they go for volume on this one...put it up on my studio program and you can hardly see any peaks as it's just maxxed pun intended. If they recorded this album and left a little headroom and let the instruments breath a little it would of been so much more enjoyable.

Still these guys are the real deal and hopefully they'll rectify this on album #2.
#3 | gdazegod on December 14 2013 14:05:23
It's bloody loud alright! lol!
#4 | rkbluez on December 14 2013 18:21:21
Jimi Bell is one of my favorite guitarist so I was waiting for this delivers musically and Jimi rocks and his solo's are fantastic as you'd fact everything is well done from the rock solid rhythm section to the good vocal job from Chris...everything except for that super modern cranked to the Max brickwalled production.

I bought some other releases on Kivel like No Love Lost, LaValle and AdrianGale and all of those other releases are so much more enjoyable just for the simple fact they were recorded without mastering their albums at brickwalled levels...I'm not saying they are better...but they do sound a lot better.
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