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SideOneDummy Records

Guest review by Matt Whipkey


On their debut SideOneDummy release, Maxeen sounds poised for success, the kind of success that jumps off MTV into your living room every day via Total Request Live.

They have "the look" down pat: stylized pop-punk hair, ties over T-shirts, and they're so damn cute -- absolutely perfect for television. Oh, and they also play music. That may be oversimplifying things, which is something that Maxeen also does on their debut. Each track is pure pop-punk by-the-numbers. You know the bands -- we've all heard them -- and the only real difference is that Maxeen doesn't have a number at the end of their name.

Outside of the rocking of guitars, bass and drums, Maxeen's songs are trite and unmemorable. The vocals whine in a way that strains for an "emo" comparison, but falls terribly short of any real sincerity. Maxeen does appear to have an understanding of melody and can effectively execute a hook. However, it shouldn't sound like a routine or a drill. As the disc winds down you get the feeling that you just listened to a commercial rather than a record. In that respect Maxeen succeeds, this album very well could go platinum. It's just too bad the new Blink 182 record came out the same week.

back torevhead.gif (1924 bytes)   Posted Nov. 19, 2003. Copyright 2003 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Rating: No

Obligatory pull-quote: "As the disc winds down you get the feeling that you just listened to a commercial rather than a record."


Tim Sez:

This is miles better than Blink 182, which is virtually unlistenable due to Tom Delonge's horrible Jerry-Lewis-as-The-Idiot vocals. Blink 182 also is more clearly a Greenday rip. You can't say that about Maxeen. Instead of a tired, "punk revival" sound, they're going for more of a power-pop thing verging on what's classified these days as "emo," a la newer Jimmy Eat World or Get Up Kids. It's not all bad, and there's even a couple songs that seem genuinely original, but the overall lack of interesting hooks or lyrics makes this a forgettable listen.

Tim's rating: No