NYC Quartet Maxband Put Together First-Rate Debut

NYC Quartet Maxband Put Together First-Rate Debut

Coming in hot off the press, NYC quartet Maxband is about to release their debut, Perfect Strangers. Identified only as Max, Tim, Patrick, and Eric on the group’s Bandcamp page, Maxband has produced a record at once atmospheric and wandering, yet streamlined and unassuming. It’s sure to get some heavy rotation when it drops on August 24.

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At just 24:49, it’s a short but sweet journey through the streets of New York; I can already hear the band blasting away in the bars and clubs, giving the street life a soundtrack. Supremely melodic, the guitar work is right in the sweet spot: not too intricate as to be off putting, not too monotonous to bore the listener. The bass and drums hold everything together, with bright, percussive rhythms and a nice stripped-down texture. The sounds all wash together like paint on an easel, different shades coming together to produce an aesthetically pleasing audio portrait.

This is music that isn’t so much about the destination as the journey. The musicians sound delighted to be making music for music’s sake, and that’s probably why it comes across sounding so effortless and spontaneous yet polished and rehearsed. Alternately inducing images of a sunset on the beach and the sidewalks in the Big Apple, the eight tracks assembled here could be an indie movie soundtrack. It’s music that’s equally suited for listening alone in your room or rocking out in a dive bar with a beer in each hand.

A nice low pressure record, Perfect Strangers by Maxband is out in just a couple weeks. With a sound as unobtrusive as it is catchy and melodious, it’s almost a letdown when the album is over, because there’s no more to listen to. A strange combination of deadpan, understated sensibilities and wistful, emotive composition, subsequent listens reveal layers of depth to the sound that continually surprise and delight. Hopefully there’s much more from Maxband in the future.

Preorder the digital album or limited edition cassette tape here: https://maxbandnyc.bandcamp.com/album/perfect-strangers

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