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Maximum Indifference — Maximum Indifference
(Botched 0000, 1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01

Maximum Indifference Cover art

You may recall our review of their most recent live demo a few issues back, so we welcome this CD release. Maximum Indifference is an instrumental trio of guitars+synths, bass+synths, and drums – a lean yet very tight lineup – from the San Francisco Bay Area. Their sound is firmly rooted in the rock shadows somewhere between instrumental bands like Djam Karet and the Ozrics, and the mechanical angularity of 70s Rush. While their vocabulary is not technically difficult or overly complex, their material tends to build up momentum via layers of dense atmospherics provided by the synths and multi-tracked guitar rhythms. Indeed, many of their tunes are a bit short on raw compositional development ("Weeping Frontiers" for example) – repeating a single theme over and over – but by dressing it up in different arrangements, they provide the variation necessary to keep it interesting over the duration. They also have enough good sense not to drag a four minute idea out to eight or ten. Drummer Rich Duarte doubles on soprano bugle on "Chrysalis", which, due to the defining lead instrument, is easily the most memorable track here. Yet their most powerful moments are when Duarte, bassist Gus Fjelstrom, and guitarist Mark Bladek work together as an intensely tight rhythm unit on tracks like "Echoes," "5ii," and "Rage and Lunacy." An excellent debut that stands on its own.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Gustaf Fjelstrom, Maximum Indifference

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