Boomkat Product Review:
First ever vinyl reissue of Maximum Joy’s foundational 1982 debut and only album, a true UK post-punk evergreen made by spunky kids fuelled on punk, disco, reggae, and funk influence drawn from Bristol’s vital mix of cultures.
Famously produced by Adrian Sherwood near the start of his ascendent career, ‘Station M.X.J.Y.’ is the one and only album by Maximum Joy, a Bristolian five-piece who basically bridged the gap between The Raincoats' jangly, melodic post-punk and the funkiest disco-not-disco New wave music coming from NYC in the early ‘80s. Now following a prized set of Maximum Joy rarities compiled and issued by Kiran Sande and Chris Farrell’s Silent Street label in 2017, the band’s eternally infectious vibes are back in circulation to soundtrack your next blues dance or brieing soirée.
Brimming with a cool energy native to their home city, and epitomised by the band’s mix of Janine Rainforth’s effervescent vocals with the rude rhythm section of Charles Llewelyn (drums, percussion) and Kev Evans (bass, piano, vocals), ‘Station M.X.J.Y.’ remains Maximum Joy’s definitive record and a most beautiful example of the way inner city British kids were irrevocably influenced by their neighbours of differing cultures, and who helped them break with stale traditions of guitar-led rock, putting more than an ounce of bouncy funk in their gruds.
Mirroring what the likes of Brenda and Gerry Kenny’s Naffi sandwich were doing up in the equally fecund melting pot of Liverpool during the same years, Maximum Joy also prized a more giddy sort of funk that was harnessed by Adrian Sherwood’s shimmering production. From the muscular bass propulsion and playful call-and-response of honking sax and country guitar in ‘Dancing On My Boomerang’, thru the giddy disco swagger of ‘Do It Today’, to the sprawling reggae-dub-tropicalia of ‘Let It Take You There’, and up to the lilting Afro-beat influence licked into the bubbling optimism of ‘Mouse an’ Me’, Maximum Joy surely live up to the Trades Descriptions Act 1968 on their debut album, and we defy anyone to say otherwise.
A massive RIYL Liquid Liquid, The Raincoats, Naffi Sandwich, Lifetones, Vazz.