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CD REVIEW: Paul Spencer & the Maxines - Cut the Jive
By Reid Murray - 12/21/2007 - 05:28 PM EST

Artist: Band: Paul Spencer & the Maxines
Label: Vimana Records
Genre: Punk-Rock
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
CD Review: Paul Spencer & the Maxines have a raunchy sound that lingers over them. I don’t mean this in a bad way though. Spencer’s style of singing is punk-like as is much of the music, but they include guitar solos and catchy vocal harmonies. Throughout the album, “Cut the Jive,” Spencer shines light on partying and girls.

I was reminded of KISS by the second song “Bolt of Lightning” because of Paul’s style of singing. I like how he emphasizes and sings certain parts of words, like “lin-uh” in “adrenaline.” The bassist also adds some nice backing vocals and harmonies that make the song more enjoyable.

In “Shake Off,” Paul Spencer & the Maxines play an attractive groove topped with what sounds like a cowbell. This tune also makes me chuckle when the chorus kicks in, after “off,” a round of “Lalalalalala….” completes Spencer’s “losing streak” that he’s trying to shake. Another one of the better songs on the album is “Don’t Put Me Down.” The guitar breakdown that ignites caught my attention. The sudden drop in tempo before the guitar solo makes it stand out that much more.

“24 Hour Non-Stop Perfect Waste of Time” shows how Spencer knows where to place vocals for a better sound. He may not have the best singing voice, but he has good styling and the backing vocals are necessary for their sound and appeal. Lead guitarist Danny Soares plays another ripping solo as well.

One aspect of the band that I think could use improvement is the drums. If the snare had a more dominant sound, as in “Bolt of Lightning,” throughout the entire album, the songs would be greatly improved in my opinion.

To close out “Cut the Jive,” an almost all acoustic piece is played. Spencer sings about “Alcohol, Cigarettes, & Coffee,” three indulgences that help with his hangover. He also sounds a bit like the singer of the band “Love.”

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