Max Fite is a quartet on fire. The Los Angeles band brings a big, rock sound on their new record Shake It On Down with the bombast of 70’s sleaze rock, the attitude of 90’s alternative, with some blues thrown in for good measure. Forming in 2015, the band hasn’t been around long, and with all things new there are some growing pains but there is also material that will keep listeners interested.
The record opens to the three chord power-pop of “Devil In Me”, a song that could have jumped off a Mid-90’s compilation record… and I’m a big fan of Mid-90’s comps. ”Court Jester” slinks along with a nicely placed slide guitar adding some extra depth to the crunch. “Shake It Down” sounds like an outtake on an Urge Overkill record. “My Own Fantasy” is a stompin’ good time with great guitar work over a hook-laden chorus. “Yes Man” is the most upbeat on the record, mixing some sinister, but watered-down, punk rock with wistful and fluid-like vocals contemplating the pounding drums.
For all the good things the record offers, as I was listening… just once…I wanted to hear Mike Fitelson’s lead vocals jump off the speakers. He was very reserved and his nasally voice was one-dimensional and a bit of a distraction. It often diminished some songs that worked musically, but were lacking in the passion department. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give it a try.