It’s a truly remarkable experience when an album you weren’t expecting too much out of quickly shoots to the top of your favorites list after just one listen. The record, “Love Lines,” by The Maytags, is one such example of these glorious, diamond in the rough, hidden gem discoveries. With a basic album cover consisting of only a pink background and simple white and grey script, this record will probably not be the first to catch your eye. But The Maytags do not need any flashy ornamentation to draw you in, because their music absolutely speaks for itself and will have you hooked within one song.
Written in the aftermath of a messy breakup, an intense yet passionately beautiful sadness can definitely be felt in songs such as, “Pushing Up Rivers,” and, “Abused.” A feisty feeling of frustration towards a complicated lover are present in, “Rita,” “Call Me,” and, “Problems.” And yet the somber theme of ending a drama filled relationship are expertly balanced with a sense of humor throughout the album such as on the song, “Business Trip,” as well as through the use of background vocals and monologuing in the middle of songs. It is refreshing to find a band that does not take itself too seriously, and that you can tell is having fun with their music.
The music itself is wonderfully complex, and the instrumentation is grand. With fantastic drums, guitar, bass, keys/organ, and horn section, The Maytags create a unique collection of sounds in every single one of their songs. A great specific example of the musical complexity can be found in the title track, “Love Lines,” which is an instrumental tune that gives off some serious Zappa and Santana vibes once the song gets going. The organ and horns in this particular jam are quite powerful and driving. And lead singer, Dustin Smith’s voice perfectly accents the mood of whatever song he is singing. Somehow achieving that simultaneous, perfect blend of raspy and smooth, Smith brings to life the meaning behind the words every time. His crooning on, “Marry Ya,” compliments the vintage, vaguely 50’s feel of the song. And his gut-wrenching howl at the end of, “Pushing Up Rivers,” emphasizes the heart breaking feeling of a failed love.
Every single track on this album is not only a fun listen, but has a musical depth that I feel many bands lack. I recommend The Maytags to everyone because I think that their music is ridiculously enjoyable and infectious, as well as technically fascinating and advanced for you music connoisseurs out there. Check out the Maytags and their album, “Love Lines,” on Spotify and on their website, themaytags.com. They will also be coming to the Aggie Theatre on November 12th, playing alongside Eufóquestra and The Cycles. Tickets are available now on their website.