Review Summary: Super-duper elite.
With recent new releases from bands such as Envy and Sed Non Satiata this year, it makes me want to travel back into their ancestry a little, pay some homage to the originators. Perhaps nowhere is this attention more due than to Maximillian Colby. Hailing from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Maximillian Colby are perhaps the most exquisite snapshot of emocore, if you will, in the early years of the decade. On a trip into the back-catalog of emo greats, the kids who started it all, you’re going to meet Heroin, Antioch Arrow, Honeywell, and much more - the fu
cking insane pioneers that went out on a limb. MaxCo find themselves deeply embedded into this group, based on influence and sound. What separates their 16-song discography though, is that it holds up so well against the heavy hand of time, refusing to be crushed. While the rawness of their peers might sound a little stale, or perhaps that fact that other pioneers feel stale now, due to so many of their children copying their style, MaxCo’s Discography
is undeniably fresh. I suspect I have found the preservative that keeps this unrelenting record chugging so smoothly like a well-oiled steam engine, even after so many years on the track- simple creativity, and unchecked passion. Coupled together and executed in near-flawless fashion, MaxCo have crafted what shaped some of yours and my favorite records of all-time.
This isn’t just another fu
cking punk band. That becomes clear as a Windex-ed window with the onset of “New Jello.” MaxCo have placed a Steve Reich sample to begin their hardcore record... pair this with the fact that it begins the record so eloquently... mind... blown. These guys were incorporating post-rock cliches before they became so trite. While we’re dealing with the more strange aspects of Discography
, the silence deserves some sort of award, because the composition of MaxCo’s songs are, for the most part, pretty fu
cking genius. I like to compare the composition to Spiderland
, oddly enough. Slint’s slinking, harrowing guitar lines that take you from Point A to Point B so mesmerizingly are reminiscent of MaxCo, but try to imagine a more dynamic structure. There’s crescendos, sure, but it’s particularly impressive how the peaks rarely mark an end to the song, instead the composition is used as a tool to properly bolster the music, instead of just a vehicle to transport listeners from A to B, as indicated by the dynamism so evident in “Sifelaver.”
Still, it’s hard to separate Maximillian Colby entirely from the hardcore aesthetic they’re so deeply rooted in. Most of the songs sound like they were recorded in a crowded basement, you can almost see the cinder block walls and claustrophobic drums in the corner with the fervent, unintelligible cries on “Bluestone.” Even though the group never meant for Discography
to be distributed as a comprehensive 16 songs, the catharsis and energy of the compilation grants a definite cohesiveness. Furious yelling and driving, guttural guitars? Yes please. Abrasive and unforgiving, this isn’t a release for timid ears.
Even the most untrained listeners, however, would be hard-pressed not to see the brilliance of singular moments that inhabit Discography
. Often, the start-stop method is used perfectly, and to an extreme measure. Post-rock passages are abundant on the record, and they’re utilized well to create this gunshot effect, the screeching screams breaking out of the lulling mellifluous melodies. Maximillian Colby not only predates bands like A Day In Black And White, City of Caterpillar, Circle Takes the Square, and Envy; but for 16 songs they prove that they can outplay them, too.