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Album Review: Max Fite Rocks The House with “Shake It On Down”

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There’s a way to fuse folk with rock, and Max Fite has figured it out. The California band comprised of Max Fitelson on guitars and lead vocals, Jamie Cunningham on guitars and backup vocals, Carl Raether on bass and backup vocals, and Macy Lucarelli on drums use their EP “Shake It On Down” to explore life as well as play with the lines of indie rock with hard rock.

The passionate EP opens with the song Devil In Me, a power guitar-driven track (which is a common theme throughout) about the cynical side of a person, and how visible that side is. The song begs the question in its incredibly catchy chorus “Can you see the devil in me?” and paired with those power chords, the track will have you wanting to explore the rest of Max Fite’s striking sound.

Most of the lyrics within the EP dive into the struggles of life and trial and error. My Own Fantasy, about losing yourself and living in your own head, which deep lyrics opt for a more indie sound without losing the feel of a pulsing rock song. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Yes Man is more hardcore and fast paced, telling the tale of a man who lies, doesn’t care, and always wanting more. The upbeat rhythms and melodies match the vibrant sound of the record overall. The ending of Yes Man is probably one of my favorite parts of the EP. Those power guitars show up and show out, offering a colorful ending to an album of exploration.

Court Jester is my favorite song from “Shake It On Down” for the simple fact that it’s so interesting. The song is really a ride from beginning to end. The opening, similar to Devil In Me, gives me a Bon Jovi vibe for its guitar-heavy intro. Max’s smooth vocals over the drums and guitars bring a mix of rock and folk that’ll have you swaying your head along to the beat. The guitar solos in the middle of the song pick up inexplicably for the undeniably fun final chorus, which is one of the ways this EP uses different conventions and makes each song its own independent work.

Max Fite’s way of weaving indie rock with hard rock is different, and while some interpretations of “different” are a nice way of describing a work that’s not so easy to listen to, “Shake It On Down” is a fearless piece of exploration that keeps a feel good tone throughout. The range of sound, while wide, never loses its rock roots. From the more heavy rock inspired title track to the more somber Time To Heal, the record continuously goes back to their core rock sound, and if you’re into bands like The Killers and Noel Gallagher & The High Flying Birds, you’re going to vibe to Max Fite.

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Kayla Carmichael

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