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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Max Demian Band - 1979 Take It To The Max/1980 The Call Of The Wild
Max Demian Band - 1979 Take It To The Max/1980 The Call Of The Wild

ARTIST: Max Demian Band
ALBUM: Take It To The Max (1979)/The Call Of The Wild (1980)
SERIAL: AFL1-3273, AFL1-3525
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: Dan Howe - keyboards, vocals * Jim LeFevre - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Kirt Pennebaker - bells, bass, vocals * Paul Rose - guitar, vocals * Peter Siegel - drums (1979) * Fofi Lanchan - drums, percussion (1980)

Take It To The Max (1979)
01 Havin' Such A Good Day * 02 See Me Comin' Down * 03 Burnin' Up Inside * 04 Still Hosed * 05 High School Star * 06 Through The Eye Of A Storm * 07 Paradise * 08 The Lizard Song * 09 Hear My Song

Call Of The Wild (1980)
01 Bundle A Nerves * 02 Terminal Man * 03 Is There Anybody In There * 04 The Call Of The Wild * 05 Slip Away * 06 The Best Of Me * 07 Brainchild * 08 Suzanne * 09 Born Senile * 10 Class Of '84

We're going to do something slightly different in GDM, and that is: bundle up album reviews as Two-fers, where we know a band has only released a pair of albums in their known history. This means we can whip through more articles and albums then we would normally. For those of you who remember, this is something which the AOR Classics magazine did a couple of issues into their mid 1990's publication run. The first recipient of our Two-fer pairing is South Miami new wave/pop rock outfit: the Max Demian Band. Of course, like their similarly named Canadian counterparts Max Webster, there's no such bloke in the band called Max Demian at all! The band name comes from a character within a German literary work called 'Demian', written at the end of World War 1 Click here... Very obtuse, but that's how they came about. The band membership came about via a history of other Miami bands from the late 60's such as The Novas, Drones and Sounds Unlimited. Through a solid run of club performances in Miami, RCA eventually came calling, and 'Take It To The Max' was their debut recording in 1979.

The Songs
Take It To The Max
The material on TITTM is energetic, and styled on late 70's ideals. As you can hear on the opening cut 'Havin' Such A Good Day', a poppy affair with stinging guitar solos. Second up, 'See Me Coming Down' aims up squarely to The Cars, though under-produced by comparison. 'Burnin' Up Inside' shows a different side of MDB. A mid 70's (sort of) country rocker, while 'Still Hosed' sounds like something from their club days. And what's with the title? lol! 'High School Star' is slightly odd-ball, with 10cc styled lyrical humour and a myriad of pop influences for good measure. 'Through The Eye Of The Storm' goes a touch heavier, the tempo is increased and the energy lifts accordingly. 'Paradise' is a sweet acoustic based number, likeable but a bit weak musically. For something different,'The Lizard Song' presents a near prog rock expression, with zany synth parts throughout. MDB cannot be accused of sitting in a single pigeon-hole with the material on this album. 'Hear My Song', a ballad concludes what is a variable but underwhelming set.

Call Of The Wild
Into 1980, and MDB were ready for round two: 'Call Of The Wild'. They had a year under their belt to improve on their debut. The songs presented here all seem to fit under a single-blanket style wise, which was something that couldn't be said for their debut. I'll admit I struggled to get into the ideas presented on that first album. I read somewhere the producers on TITTM were given a clean slate without hindrance from the record label. That's all well and good, but a clean slate doesn't mean the final output is going to be a winner. Put it this way, I've listened to and been exposed to hundreds if not thousands of bands during this era, and MDB come nowhere close to being innovative or exciting enough to tickle my fancy. I will admit that the material on 'Call Of The Wild' is superior to that of 'Take It To The Max', but not by much. The energy is up a few notches, the arrangements sit right in the middle of the power-pop sub-genre, and overall the excitometer sits above the halfway mark which is a good thing. However, when compared with other similar bands around the nation, or even up in Canada, MDB sit slightly behind. One can clearly deduce that Miami was not the power-pop capital of the USA!

In Summary
RCA could only handle this pair of albums before calling it a day. I picked up both of them on the Grooveshark website, but I think these can be sourced elsewhere on the Net. Apaprently, MDB are still active, and even released a live video on DVD, which must be as rare as rockinghorse doo-dah. For power-pop investigatees only I would suggest.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on April 30 2016 13:29:36
Used to own both of these albums. I had completely forgotten about the group. They were one of those bands I thought were a bit so-so back in the day, but no doubt would love em now. I am going to seek out copies again methinks.
#2 | Eric on April 30 2016 14:20:24
Cut-out bin Kings! Both albums were very weak.
#3 | gdazegod on April 30 2016 15:01:08
Does the two-fer format look and read ok?
#4 | Eric on April 30 2016 22:52:24
Yes, its an inspired idea, could have done this for Mayday etc. but moving forward I might try this format very shortly and I already have a band in mind....
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