[Editor’s note: This review was originally published on Feb 15th, 2019 for BuriedOnMars.com]
Full Disclosure: I was gifted a copy of this album by the Mighty Mike Ladano as John over at 2Loud2OldMusic accurately dubbed: “Max The Axe’s PR guy“. Also, Max The Axe’s lead singer Eric Litwiller goes by the moniker Uncle Meat; a “character” I enjoy reading about on Mike’s blog. So take what you will from that. (Editor’s 2nd note: I’m also happy to report that Uncle Meat has become an online friend over the years.)
All I can say is this is my honest thoughts on the album. If I didn’t care for it I simply would not review it. For the 15 or so people who read this blog (I love you all!), it would not be worth the hassle of getting into it over a negative review. If asked, I’d just pretend to be aloof and claim to haven’t gotten around to listening to it yet, Bill Murray style.
So, I say this without reserve: Static Electric is solid rock goodness.
The album has several different flavours throughout its listen. The first thing that stood out to me during the opener River Grand, was how Mike Koutis (AKA Max the Axe) has an identifiable Iommi growl to his guitar tone.
But by the next song, however, the tone switches gears. Next Plane to Vegas has a James Bond-ish less tremble sixties guitar riff, and a few of the tracks like Sick of Living, The Other Side, and Uptite Friday Nite have a garage rock vibe. By the time we get to the album’s closer Scales of Justice, we get a greater refined and polished rock tune. Almost as if it belongs on a follow-up.
Regardless of the style though, every song is Max the Axe. Their sound maybe garage-ish at times but the guitar playing and solos are closer to 70’s metal-rock, and Eric’s Jack Black-ian vocals are a consistent force that ties the tunes together.
I really enjoyed the vocal melodies; especially the choruses. Even Randy‘ with its repeating of “Randy”. It has mysterious way of being a weird song at first, then growing on you after a few spins. Since I listened to this album mostly in the car without the track listing, I couldn’t believe what my ears were telling me the first time I heard ‘Randy’. I thought… Randy?… Are they singing Randy?… Who writes a song about a guy named Randy… That’s the guy from the Trailer Park Boys.
Nah, it’s got to be Mandy or something that sounds like Randy… but no, it is Randy. This is now one of my favourites on the album. Here they are doing Randy live courtesy of their PR department’s YouTube channel. The tune starts one minute into the video:
My top favourite, however, is Gods On The Radio. Dang, this is one catchy tune. The lyrics are fun with references to Scott Baio and Phil Collins. It has a great hook with the “You Gotta” chorus too. This is the one that I play two or three times before moving on. Good times.
All in all, Status Electric is a fun listen. The only tune I really didn’t care for too much is Call of The Wild and it is not all that bad. Big thanks to Mike for introducing me to this band. Make sure to check out his review of the album:
And one more plug for John’s too:
I’ll be keeping an eye on their facebook page and hopefully one day swing by the Kitchener-Waterloo area to catch them live.