Thursday, October 29, 2009

saturday maybe


Recorded on the 9th September, 2009 - 9/9/9 to those of you with a morbid fascin
ation for emergency services numerology - "The Grass is Always Greener" is the second EP release from Nashville's Max and the Wild Things. Something of a minor cause for celebration in my own household, it further cements my partisan allegiance to siblings Aidan and Cole Traynor, and third man, Clint (Max) Wilson; replacing one-time wild thing, Brendan Leahy, on drums.

More than merely a celtic thing, listening to these Aidan Traynor compositions is a bit like being blasted back in time to the Pixies 4AD debut release with the mushrooms poking their crowns t
hrough the short grass; a chill dew on the collar.

Spare and electric and temporarily unhinged, the sound is at once as exuberant as a puppy digging for ribs, and as amnesiac as a pirate mining for azure on a cloudy weekend.

Stripped to the bone and confusedly eloquent.

As with their first release, "Hands Down Mans Down", the four songs featured were recorded at Welcome to 1979, "utilizing only analogue equipment manufactured in the mid-seventies as the perfect antidote to compressed digital orthodoxy". To quote myself.

That alone is enough to make me prick up my ears. Produced and engineered by Chris Mara, Mickie Martel, Bert Stone, Neil O'Neil and The Wild Things, it also leads off with a brand new studio outing - with brass ? - of the sublime "Without a Sound" featured here this summer, live in The Basement.

Last time around, zero siblings commented. Leaving me in a minority of one. I must reveal I was inordinately disappointed. Until. My friend Gus brought it up at my wedding reception. Somebody, clearly, was listening in after all; for a moment there I felt almost on a par with John Peel. Without the salary
and pension, of course. Or a f@cking radio show even.

An odder Tennessee Waltz, it would be hard to imagine. Buckle up your leg.

MAX AND THE WILD THINGS: SATURDAY IN MAY from "The Grass Is Always Greener" EP (WT1979) 2009 (US)



@eloh said...

I've probably told you this before, I start the music then minimize the window and read blogs. So the way you have things set up, music just keeps playing...sometimes by the time I finish what I was doing, I have to go back to hear the song posted about a second time...(my mind).

Anyway, I liked the music today but not so thrilled with the vocals....but I got to hear your last selection again and she has a beautiful smooth voice.

Ramone666 said...

Second that. Really like the sound (especially the guitar) but am not so sure of the singer.

ib said...

Thanks for the comments, brothers and sisters.

Interesting that you both make the same point. Me, I really like the vocals. On this one and on the live version of "Without a Sound", especially. There is a sneer somewhere in there that flicks a switch.

Some rather boss bass tones too.

@eloh, it is good to hear that you enjoyed Jackie Lee's vocal take on "White Horses" previously. This is one of those songs I have so much of a nostalgic regard for that it becomes quite impossible to take an impartial stance. She does have a beautiful voice; and the slightly ropey Joe Meek type production only adds to the charm.