MAX LOAD: Self-titled: LP / CD / DVD

An aptly-titled release, as this LP + CD + DVD package is likely the max load of Max Load—KBD-era art-punks from the Illinois part of the St. Louis sphere of influence—that could possibly be collected together in one place without adversely fucking up Earth’s gravitational pull or something. While the band’s original “X-Rod” b/w “Magazine Sex” 45 is a nice complimentary piece on compilations of its era, i couldn’t really call it a “classic” in good faith, which kinda calls the gravitas surrounding the additional twenty-two demo cuts which round out this package into question. I mean, it’s interesting enough—in an “Unnatural Axe buys a keyboard and gets really, really into it” kinda way, crossed with a second side of those Rodney on the ROQ albums kinda way, occasionally almost crossed with a first Kings album but not really kinda way—but i see this more as a historical courtesy than a Rock Imperative. That said, “Va-Va-Va-Vicky” reminds me more of “B-A-R-B-R-A Barbra” than it does “L’L’L’Lucy,” so i think we’re all all right, as Robin Zander once opined. BEST SONG: “You’re a Blur.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Rapidly Expanding Universe.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: In direct defiance of Rock Orthodoxy, the record cover depicts a number of horizontally-striped-shirt-wearing band members, although the cover is composed of individual photos which may not have been taken at the same time.

 –norb (BDR, RerunRecordsSTL.com)