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November 24, 2017


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Mephiskapheles
Maximum Perversion (Moon Ska Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The satanic ska pioneers are back with a vengeance! Their unique blend of ska, funk, jazz, punk, and Satan is un-matched. Maximum Perversion is a collection of thirteen new songs sure to scare the misinformed, and to please any fan of ska.

"Attack of the Geniuses" starts off everything with a its slow ska beats played under strong vocals that talk throughout the song. The horns are the melody, adding power and passion to the song. "Break Yer Ankle Punk" starts out like a slow ska number but then the funk hits you like a ton of bricks when the vocals enter. The horns change the pace back into a danceable number, but then the groove is once again thrust upon you when the vocals enter. The next time the horns enter they play some twisted horn lines for you, sure to send chills down your spine. Then a little more funk, and the horns change the song back to a very nice, danceable number until the end. "Satan on the Beach" let's your feet take over. The horn lines are bright and powerful, while the guitar and the rest of the band plays some ska that you can dance too. Then the vocals enter, and the background music calms down to a very slow pace while the vocals speak over them. The drums slam down and single a change back to the music that you'll be dancing too. This time the vocals are sung over some beautiful horns and a guitar that will have fun with your feet. Soon the horns take over. It's very delicate and beautiful, adding a lot of flavor and emotions to the music. "Demon Weed" has a nice keyboard intro, then the drums slightly come in along with the vocals, all the while the gentle keyboards are played in the background. The horns are like a windy breeze, gently finding their way through the song, soothing over everything. The song itself is very slow and gentle, taking its time to make you feel its emotions. The vocals are soft, but still clearly present. Definitely a modern day jazz/ska thriller. "Introducing the Yellow Passion" takes you right back to some faster paced beats that you will find nice to dance too. The horns are definitely the brightness in the song, while the rest of the band plays slow to medium tempo beats that will find you dancing one minute, and taking a breather the next. "Snack Pack" starts out with some horn lines that sound very familiar. You will swear you have heard them before, but if your like me you won't be able to put your finger on it. The song is a slow, gentle song that will let you relax and have a good time. Once again, the horns make the song with their bright melody and catchy lines. "Scram" closes out the CD. In the beginning you get the impression this might be a powerfully fast or hard song, but then it slows down. Your left confused. It then picks up for a bit and gives you the impression that something fast is around the corner, but all it is doing is playing tricks on your mind. They finish the CD with mystery, and that's what the band is all about. From a hard edge to very calm, this song will keep your mind focused on it, and will not let it stray.

If your afraid of Mephiskapheles because they are "satanic ska," than obviously you have no sense of humor. This band is just about fun. All they want you to do is open your mind and think a bit, while having fun. If that scares you, then this CD is not for you. If you want a good time, and aren't afraid of their front, than this is a good CD for you. I recommend picking it up. The first few listens the CD might seem weird, but after a few more listens it will grow on you. I'll give it an A-.

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