Local Reviews: Max Pain and the Groovies

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Max Pain and the Groovies
Tortilla Gold
Street: 11.25.11
Max Pain and the Groovies = The Doors + The (International) Noise Conspiracy
Tortilla Gold, the latest release from the Groovies, is seven tracks of jangling, bluesy rock n’ roll. This band plays a great live show, always getting the crowd thrashing around. Fast rockers such as “Electro Cosmic Chronic Jam” and “Doin Time” capture that energy, while the slow groove of “Piano” and “Good Olds Blues” show a more melodic, tightened-up side of the band. Tortilla Gold is a solid recording, and it shows how good Max Pain and the Groovies can sound—the guitar work on “Wanna Get Lit” in particular. My only qualms concern the vocals. David Johnson’s wailing, which works perfectly within the frantic pace of “Doin Time,” feels out of place on the beautiful, spaced-out meandering of “Good Olds Blues,” which is such a good song. If Johnson exhibited a little restraint sometimes, Max Pain and the Groovies could make a much more compelling record.