(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)
The wonderful thing about blues music is the fact that it’s derived from life and life happens everywhere.
Be it the southern Delta region of the U.S., the United Kingdom or, say, Kyiv, Ukraine, blues are universal and wide encompassing. That latter spot is where today’s subject matter originates from, with musician Max Tovstyi and his newly released “Mesmerize” album from Nasoni Records.
Max made his bones in such acts as The Heavy Crawls, The Crawls, Turnaround, Lucifer Rising, 7 Inch Interstellar Locomotive, Blues Association, and others. In more recent times, multi-instrumentalist Max has been creating some truly incredible solo works and this album is no exception. On this, his second solo record, he plays everything, all instruments except for the violin and trumpet.
With blues as this outing’s base and his perpetual muse, Max builds an enthralling patchwork incorporating psychedelia, classic rock, and progressive elements into the mix. Right from the start of things, in this case, “Rising Sun“, he immediately raises the stakes with this appealing number.
The song, and such others as “Wait Till Tomorrow“, “You Know That I Know“, or “From The Blues To The Funk“, are irresistible. Much of that magnetism is derived by the way the tempos, energies, styles, etc., are continually morphing and evolving. Max refuses to sit idle within one limiting genre of music, thus these songs regularly and fluidly transition from one note to the next.
For my personal tastes, I especially dig the tunes where things take on a more abundant psychedelic bent to them. Righteous examples of this being presented here are the heady radiance of “World Of Sin“, or the subtle psyche-tinged tracks “Feel Like Dying Now“, and “Make Up Your Mind“.
Max recently gave me some insight about the latter song, which wraps up this album. It is an epic composition that contains orchestral enhancements and half a dozen additional vocalists, one that took Max and Co. eight months to write, record, mix, and get just right. The hard work pays off with its poignant emotional content and massive, heartfelt effectiveness.
With “Mesmerize“, Max Tovstyi solidly reveals himself as an incredibly well-rounded musician and artist. If you are an aficionado of blues and classic rock combined then you are absolutely going to dig this album. Stream it here in our review or head over to Bandcamp HERE where it is available for streaming and purchase.
Check out the Official Video for “Interstellar Girl“…