In an era where one mention of Portland, Oregon on a band’s press sheet immediately conjures thoughts of yet another doom metal band, MAXIMUM MAD offer a swift punch in the face in the form of cathartic, ugly noise rock, with earworm song structure and choruses that’d make even the most old school of Nirvana fans turn their heads.
Dear Enemy EP, which is out on September 15th via Good To Die Records, is a double entendre: On one hand, the term “dear enemy” is used to describe the phenomenon in which two neighboring predatory animals become less aggressive toward one another once territorial borders are well-established. These invisible boundaries keep their competition away from their prey, and also keep each other out of reach, lest there be a violent altercation. On the other hand, this record is also a cathartic collection of (mostly) tongue-in-cheek songs written about and for various people in life with whom problems arise, bridges are burned, and occasionally, hatchets are buried—once boundaries are clearly set in place.
MAXIMUM MAD was formed in the summer of 2016 when bassist Jayson Smith (El Cerdo, Nihilist), guitarists Mark Bassett (John Rambo, Diesto, Men Of Porn) and David Mullis (Kakihara), and drummer Travis Wisner (Year Of The Coyote, TwoHands)—set out to create the perfect amalgamation of their biggest inspirations: Nirvana, Botch, Snapcase, Vision of Disorder, Helmet, Unsane, or anything on AmRep or Hydrahead Records, really. And they succeeded: Dear Enemy EP, which was tracked live by Stephan Hawkes (Red Fang, Gaytheist, Black Elk) at Interlace Audio in Portland, Oregon, is fast, heavy, weird, driving, exhausting, and still accessible enough for anyone to enjoy—as long as they like it heavy as fuck.
And just in case this was all getting too serious: The band name originated from a joke that the sequel to Mad Max should probably be called “Mad Max II: MAXIMUM MAD.” And while this record is maximum mad, indeed, and would serve as an excellent soundtrack to kicking the asses of misogynist, desert-dwelling megalomaniacs, it serves as an excellent reminder that especially in the current climate, there’s always room for purgative, heavy music and not taking oneself too seriously. [CJ]
Jayson Smith: Vocals, Bass
David Mullis: Backing Vocals, Guitar
Mark Bassett: Guitar
Travis Wisner: Drums