MAXX EXPLOSION – Forever (2013)
Released through Kivel Records, “Forever” is the debut album from MAXX EXPLOSION, a new Melodic Hard Rock band founded by Chris McCarvill.
And who is McCarvill? He is the bass player in House Of Lords since their last 3 CDs, having previously recorded various albums with Michael Vescera’s bands MVP & Obsession, Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister) and toured as live member in Dokken, Jeff Scott Soto Band and more.
Apart from his energetic and technical virtuosity on the bass, occurs that Chris McCarvill is also an accomplished songwriter and a heartfelt vocalist. He has been recording demos of his original music written over the past few years, and recently Don Dokken encouraged him to give shape to a new, own band.
And who McCarvill convened for that matter? No other than his House Of Lords band mates, six-string wizard Jimi Bell and monster drummer BJ Zampa.
So basically, Maxx Explosion is House Of Lords minus lead singer and mastermind James Christian.
Vocally, McCarvill is not Christian (who can match the man’s pipes?) but certainly he is a well trained singer with a quite melodic register, and wisely arranges the harmony vocals here – there’s lots of melodic background vocals in “Forever” – with class and effectiveness.
Musically, Maxx Explosion plays the kind of Melodic Hard Rock we love: late ’80s / early ’90s inspired rockers with a chorus galore, sharp guitar riffs (plus hot solos), and a big rhythm section.
When I say big, it means BIG; the bass work & sound is monolithic, fat, groovy in a Billy Sheehan way, while BJ Zampa has much more room to blast the skins than on any other band he was involved. This does not means Maxx Explosion is a ‘jammin’ band. Not at all.
“Forever” is a disc plenty of tunes in the classic Melodic Hard Rock ‘song format’ full of melodies and catchy choruses akin Mr. Big, Waysted, Dokken, Whitesnake and of course House Of Lords.
But if I have to make a more accurate comparison, Maxx Explosion reminds me John Sykes (ex- Whitesnake) solo works and his Blue Murder’s ‘Nothin’ But Trouble’ era.
I can’t find a weak track on Maxx Explosion’s debut “Forever”. Seriously.
The songs are meaty, polished and with soul. McCarvill sings with style and his bass lines are terrific (he also plays some tasteful keyboard backgrounds to embellish the tunes), Jimi Bell unleashes killer riffs & sweeping solos, and BJ Zampa simply rock your socks off.
The co-production of Don Dokken – also collaborating at the ‘stylings & sound shape’ ala John Kalodner – has enhanced this album resulting in “Forever” sounding a like late ’80s / early ’90s record. It has that ‘vibe & magic’, and I love it.
If you like classic Melodic Hard Rock in the vein of the aforementioned acts (again: Mr. Big, Blue Murder, Waysted, Dokken, House Of Lords), do yourself a favor and don’t miss Maxx Explosion’s “Forever”.
01. Devil’s Locomotive
02. Falling Away
03. Cross Your Heart
04. Don’t Wanna Break
05. Love Is A Nightmare
07. End Of The Line
08. Demon Wheel
09. Can’t Stop Falling
10. Beat Around The Bush
12. Suicide Door
Chris McCarvill – Lead Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
Jimi Bell – Guitar, Backing Vocals
BJ Zampa – Drums, Backing Vocals
BUY IT !