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New Music Monday: The Max Levine Ensemble

new music monday the max levine ensemble levin press photo
Max Levine Ensemble Backlash artPop punk gets a bad rap in the world of music. The cultural consensus seems to be that it is a genre for high school students, whose taste will eventually mature out of it. On their latest album, Backlash, Baby, The Max Levine Ensemble proves that is a facile claim. The album comes out on November 20th through both Rumbletowne Records and Lame-O Records.

Backlash, Baby is filled with catchy, fast songs, with only a few tracks as exceptions. Contrary to the pop punk stereotype, however, the band’s lyrics are clever and inquisitive. “My Valerian,”for example, compares a lover to the sedative herb. The track runs at mid-tempo, making it one of those few exceptions, but the guitars still thunder in the foreground.

The Max Levine Ensemble - My Valerian

“Sun’s Early Rays” follows “My Valerian” on Backlash, Baby, but quickens the pace. The track is strongest example on the record of a grown-up pop punk song. It’s fast, it’s catchy, it’s got a great hook, but the lyrics are not simplistic. “Sun’s Early Rays,” as the band’s David Combs told BrooklynVegan in an interview “is about global warming and the video [see below] is a loose metaphor for that.”

The Max Levine Ensemble - Sun's Early Rays

For any listener interested in a catchy, fast-paced, and clever record, The Max Levine Ensemble’s Backlas, Baby is a great choice.

Backlash, Baby is available for preorder through Amazon, Lame-O, and Rumbletowne.

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