MAXIES, THE: Going Clubbin’: 7”

I always have high hopes when a new band shows up on the scene with the yarbles to have their “true” identities concealed beneath some sort of head-concealing wraps, be it in the style of pro wrestling masks or old school armed robbery panty hose headwear. Now I know plenty of pompous gasbags who think that that is the chickenshit way to play punk rock, that you’re supposed to be forthright and bare all in a show of naked punk rock piety. And that’s fine, but there are other, more exotic, flavors of truth that rash acts of juvenile anonymity bring out. But when you dare to don a punk rock mask, you are telling the world that you are of the same Herculean dissident punk lineage as such mythic figures as The Mummies, HeWhoCannotBeNamed, Henry Fiat’s Open Sore, The Rip-Offs, and The Mentors, just to name a few. So you better damn well be able to live up to the expectations that go with that noble cranial wardrobe. It’s similar to if you’re a new pro wrestler showing up with a shaved head, missing teeth and tangled tufts of Neanderthal hair adorning your body; you are instantly implicating yourself in the proud missing-link lineage of luminaries like Mad Dog Vachon, George “The Animal” Steele, Brute Bernard, Ox Baker, Maurice Tillet and Puppy Dog Peloquin. And there again: you’d better be able to deliver the damaged goods. Naturally, when I gazed upon this record and saw the Maxies in their dress shirts with red ties and their red and silver sci-fi masks, my hopes soared like a turkey buzzard. As we all know, oftentimes very good things come wrapped in clownish outfits. But I was somewhat let down. Cute, serviceable pop punk with a vocalist who has a practiced Jello Biafra warble might sound enticing enough, but, in reality, it registers on the satisfaction meter right at about the nocturnal emission level. Oafishly calculated attempts at political incorrectness— namely “funny” lyrics about the joys of clubbing baby seals—come across not as shocking and offensive, but hackneyed and pointless. Politically Incorrect Punk should be left to trained experts like Blag Dahlia and Tesco Vee, punk rock he-men who have proven that they can handle the nitroglycerine-like volatility of political incorrectness without having it blow up in their own faces. At the same time, I truly don’t want to discourage these masked Greenlandic desperados, because it’s not a hopeless case. There is some chuckleheaded potential here. Maybe the Maxies are just too raw at this point and need to stew in their own stupid juices a little longer. And here’s where I pretend I know what I’m talking about and offer up some unsolicited advice: don’t try so damn hard to out-politically-incorrect everyone else. Political Incorrectness is not a contest and if it doesn’t come from the heart, it’s just ineffectual and makes you look like an attention whore. Just drop the klunky affectations and let your natural inner sociopathic buffoon shine through. When that happens I will proudly and drunkenly climb aboard the Maxies bandwagon and once again publicly embarrass myself.

 –Aphid Peewit (It’s Alive)