MAUCH is the solo project of respected New Jersey musician/producer/studio whiz Max Rauch. Actually calling him by all these titles is way too modest. Over the years he has not only created excellent indie rock with LKFFCT and MAUCH, he has also produced and engineered many singles and albums, started Pizza Bagel Records with his bandmates and John Cozz, and has become quite the home chef and food connoisseur. I am not going too far to say he has been a creative and hardworking inspiration to many people trying to make their mark.
The past year has been a shitstorm for far too many people. It is a struggle to maintain some sanity and normalcy while lives are being turned upside down. It is tough even for the strongest of us. Rauch has never been afraid to dive into his own psyche to share his feelings via song. This time he decided to add some synth. With his excellent new EP Blue Day he figures, screw it. Let’s dance while we all totter on the brink of the abyss.
“Blue Day” kicks off the EP with addictively catchy synth grooves that are the closest to danceable music I’ve ever heard from Rauch. Singing in a soft voice the lyrics are heavier than the buoyant music. There are references to spending lots of time sitting on the coach, being absorbed in self doubt, and being swept away. Wait, does he have a camera in my house? The ironic juxtaposition between the poppy music and the serious lyrical content is done brilliantly here. The song would not be out of place on MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular. “If the tide don’t always turn your way, keep it rollin’ along, rollin’ along” encourages us to keep moving forward.
The theme of hope against the darkness continues with the pop influenced “Buzzin’ By The Clementines.” This song makes me want to keep dancing while coming to accept my own mortality. MAUCH asks how does he get comfortable with his aching bones, heart, head, and soul. I wish I knew. “Prickly Sensation” channels some dark wave. You can still dance to it, maybe with a bit more sway.
I really like what Rauch is doing here. As a fan of synth based bands that use elements of pop giving a voice to darker themes, Blue Day hits my target. The EP may make you laugh. It may make you cry. Maybe both. And as we approach a year since everything became very real that’s OK. I hope this is not the last time MAUCH invites us to dance along to our existential dread.
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