Maximum Mad- Dear Enemy Review
By Marisa Kaye Janke
Good to Die Records’ newly signed Portland four piece Maximum Mad is gearing up to unleash a compelling EP entitled Dear Enemy, a powerful expression of succinct intensity raging full force into the heavy music lover’s feeding grounds. On September 15th, feast away on the punchy and artistically satisfying grittiness that will immediately sweep away its listener into a sea of aggression while providing intriguing subtleties of variance.
In respect to the band’s prevalent Botch influence, this EP is outstandingly impressive in its ability to display chaos in a way that is concisely fluid and immediately digestible. It moves quickly with a consistently fast tempo, inviting us to lock on and sink our teeth into whatever rhythms ensue. The band also cites Nirvana as inspiration, and we can hear this in the vocalist’s exasperated strains of emotion- harsh, yet full with a spatial presence rather than emulating a grunge tone.
As the noise-rock classification implies, it easily plays to an audience of the more abstract but maintains a groovy undertone that successfully provides steadiness. It is not choppy at all and flows rather comfortably after presenting a riff, allowing the riff to take a couple breaths, then moving right along. This comfortable madness dichotomy is also observable in the recurrence of alternating beat structures; there is perceived organization in the ambiguous alignment of pulses, captivating while hypnotizing the listener. We can also examine a mature display of unanimity in the instrumentation, as every involved voice consistently plays and is easily heard nearly for the EP’s entirety (with the exception of one thick, sludgy bass exposure at the top of track 3, “Active Aggression”) and often the instruments enjoy syncing up in deliberate unison passages wherein each layered, unified riff appears to have depths of many textures.
Any single song from the 6 track release could serve to microcosmically entertain the whole piece’s distaste of traditional album arc mentality: there is no building suspense of tension, no climactic apex of a poignant thought, and no comedown resolve. Rather, Maximum Mad wastes no time to deliver their pissed-off/angry vibe that emanates throughout, and I enjoy the decision to spare no expense in high quality production despite the stark gritty rawness it seeks to present.
Dear Enemy is a very praiseworthy execution of entrancing aggression and we can anticipate a full album release in 2018.