"Surfin' Like a Mutha" (self-produced)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Surfin' Like a Mutha" is nothing like its title would indicate. With a title like that, you think of swirling Satriani arcs or Dick Dale staples. Instead, "Surfin' Like a Mutha" is a modern folk song, brining to mind the work of Frank Zappa or some other musician, unafraid to experiment and ahead of his time.

This 5 1/2 minute single surely isn't going to appeal to anyone. The song is acoustic, mostly consisting of guitar chords and vocals. The lyrics are deep and sometimes surreal. And the vocals are recorded through a filter that gives them a buzzy, electric edge.

Still, it's always great to hear someone try something new, even it flashes back to something old or something very, very different than hard rock or heavy metal. "Surfin' Like a Mutha" may just make you think, and you'll be wondering if you liked it or not even as you reach for the play button again. Interesting stuff, worth a listen just for the experience.

Eldon Max: Eldon Slate - guitar, vocals. Written by Slate and Max Cobert.

"The Plague Is In My Socks" (Demo - Happyshit Record Company)

Reviewed by Jason Savage

I recently had the opportunity to spin a demo by Eldon Max. Formed in the bowels of Washington (the state ... not DC), this quartet featuring Eldon Slate on guitar and vocals, Max Cobert on bass, Bob Green, also on guitar and Tim Dillard on the drum kit, has garnered some excellent reviews. As you may or may not know, I am always searching for the eternal buzz and Eldon Max has made a solid contribution. So buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life!

"Rooster Girl" sets the pace for this industrial roller coaster. Right out of the gate, I find myself in the movie "The Crow." Eldon Max has that dark underground vibe going. Picture yourself in a smoky, dark and seedy club, buzzing on some illegal substance, strobes blinking, colored lights flashing, as you stare in a disenchanted trance. The vocals on this track are similar to My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult or Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nail's fame. Very heavy guitars and lots of distortion. Add in some pretty disturbing lyrics ("You think you've got scars, let me roll up my sleeve, this arm's the most mangled thing you'll ever see") and you've got one helluva poem.

"It's Snot, Because of You ..." offers heartfelt, yet creepy vocal whispers. Strangely comparable to the stylings of early Marilyn Manson off of "Portrait of an American Family," but set to an acoustic guitar. The song reflects the pain of Eldon and his struggles with addiction. The lyrics are very deep, powerful and honest as presented by this recovering junkie.

"Happy Dog" picks up where the first cut left off, back at the underground club. It also gets dissected by a feedback filled guitar solo that could break glass. The song never ends as it mixes into "Empty Brain," another steel tinged machine war filled with dueling guitars and cover fire provided by a salvo of pounding drum beats.

Eldon Max has captured the spirit of the industrial revolution. Still in search of a record contract, Eldon Max provides listeners with a definite escape plan for reality and all that may ail you. For any fans of NIN, Marilyn Manson, Ministry or the Crow Soundtrack, this CD is a must buy. 

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 17 Jul 2022 13:29:13 -0400.