Maximum High is an example of rock in its purest form. This foursome, from Athens, Greece prove that the language of rock and roll is universal. The members include Irene Dimopoulou, Thanos Amorginos, Dimitri Koutsiouris, and Nick Zografos. Their new EP, released 2 months ago (about as long as it took me to type those names), is a true example of indie alternative rock. With guitar driven (albeit simple) chord progressions, and pure bass and drums, we have one of those classic head-bobbing sounds. I personally dig the stellar vocals by Ms. Dimopoulou and she definitely adds a roaring grit to give them a little more “umpf.” Is that a thing? “Umpf?” Sure! Just got with it.
The first song on the EP, “Long Ago” is a good start, with driving chord progressions and strong vocals. The second verse and the bridge do give the song a little more depth. The changes in the simple guitar strums, volume, and rhythm really add some flair.
“Don’t Let Me Down” and “Stay” (the second and fourth songs on the EP) also continue in the rock realm, using driving guitars and simplistic drum hits. There are a few great lead guitar riffs and solos that are worth mentioning in these two songs. Who doesn’t love a good wha-wha?! Especially on “Don’t Let Me Down,” you can hear how good their guitarist is.
The third song, “Control My Love” definitely changes it up a bit and I think it is needed to break up the simplicity and to add a little bit more interest to the overall sound. I enjoy the syncopated guitar and even some interesting BGV’s that lend to a more modern rock sound. Even at times, I think this song creates a sense of old time rock and roll as well. It’s a nice blend of new and old and definitely a highlight of the EP.
They certainly aren’t reinventing the wheel here, but I don’t think that every band needs to! I’m a purest at times and I think a good, hearty, classic jam is the ticket. You know, the Smucker’s stuff…not the organic kind. The stuff with preservatives! Decent rock and roll is chock full of them, and without bands like Maximum High to preserve it, we all have to succumb to dub-step. And I just can’t. Can you?
The 4-song self-titled EP is reminiscent of (or maybe even a nod to) the late 90s, early 2000s garage/basement rock movement. And like I said, the sound is pure and has some decent grooves. On top of it all, Irene can sing. Like, really sing. So, if you’re into that, go for it. I’m glad I did!