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Reviews: Maxtone Four ~ Hey Hey Do It Anyway|
Posted on Sunday, October 07, 2007 @ 23:05:59 UTC
Artist: Maxtone Four
CD: Hey Hey Do It Anyway
Home: St. Louis, Missouri
Quote: "If thereís one thing that Maxtone Four excels at, itís in the way their breezy pop hides the darker nuances of their lyrics."
By Danny Brown
Itís been three years since Maxtone Fourís debut album, Go Steady. Hailed as "dirty, sweet pop," it was a mix of killer guitar riffs and songs that showed pop rock could be adult in its approach, it and led the St Louis quartet to be nominated for Best Pop Band in the print publication Riverfront Times. Now theyíre back with Hey Hey Do It Anyway, and listening to the aural delights on display, you have to ask why they didnít come back sooner than this.
As soon as lead song "Just Say I Know" kicks in (with main chords sounding eerily similar to The Cars' classic "My Best Friendís Girl"), you just know youíre going to enjoy the rest of the album. In fact, if you mixed The Cars with current indie darlings The 88, you wouldnít be too far off what Maxtone Four has to offer (without being too derivative).
"Ashtray" follows, and again its guitar riff intro drags you into the song before itís even begun. Telling the tale of a guy whoíd happily kiss the girl of his dreams, even though she smokes and tastes like the titular ashtray ("so I swallow cigarette butts with red lipstick halos"), itís a knowing nod to what depths weíll go to for the sake of love. Or maybe its just hormonesÖ
If thereís one thing that Maxtone Four excels at, itís in the way their breezy pop hides the darker nuances of their lyrics. Prostitution, social depravity and college sex tapes to name but a few, the songs on display here have an edge that so many other pop rock acts can only dream of.
"I ***** Hate This Place" is a prime example. Decrying the mundane rat race of everyday life that we canít escape from, no matter how hard we try, itís a cautionary tale of how alcohol can offer an all-too easy release:
barely 6:05 and the boss says Iíve mucked up
face burning in disgrace
I try to explain he still donít know heís sending me
to liquorís sweet embrace ...
Yet the band also have their humorous streak, as is shown in the soon-to-be-classic "Short Pants," which you can just see leading the soundtrack to the next Farrelly Brothers movie, with its sharp power pop chords and simple "short pants, big girl, do what you wanna do" lyrics.
With a tight sound, intelligent songs, and darkly ironic lyrics, Maxtone Four show that pop rock doesnít need to start and finish with the likes of Avril Lavigne and Maroon 5. If they could only get the break that they deserve, then the rest of the music industry might just recognize this too, and not a moment too soon.
Artist Website: http://www.maxtonefour.com
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