Album Reviews

Maxed Out on Distractions with LA Post-Punk Band Corners

Oh, Maxed Out On Distractions, where have you been the past three years?

I tend to be one of those hyper focused people that always has something going on, from a 50 hour work week to slinging the occasional record to make room for more, to a billion house projects. Not to mention this blog. I’m always eager to jump into the next big thing, master it, then apply it to something completely different.

I think that’s why I’m so obsessed with records and select TV shows. It’s background. I can focus intensely on it for a moment, then get distracted by something else entirely. And that’s why a record like Corners’ 2014 LP Maxed Out On Distractions is intriguing: I’m struggling to determine whether or not its title applies to me. I’m leaning toward yes.

Digital Crate Digging

After first discovering Corners, I was a bit dismayed at how much it cost to snag their LP (also available on cassette). It was super limited to 100 copies on purple vinyl, and an unknown quantity on 180 gram black. However, both iterations are sold out.

The records and the cassette were released via Lolipop Records [sic], though the cassette apparently also made international debut on a label in Argentina called Volante Discos.

You can find the heavy black vinyl on Discogs for a cool $35, but the purple will set you back at least $50.

Luckily I found a decently priced cassette and picked it up, but before it arrived a vinyl copy was listed on eBay for a reasonable sum (mid-20s) so I snagged it too.

I was a bit shocked to find that my newly purchased copy wasn’t the standard 180 gram as I had anticipated. It was, in fact, the super limited purple copy!

“Maxed Out On Distractions” by Corners. Just ignore the cat hair hanging off the headshell.

Sure, I could flip it for two or more times what I paid, but it’s a damn great album.

No chance in hell.

Sounds From That Sweet Wax

Maxed Out On Distractions contains goth-y, garage-y post-punk, and Corners delivers it with all the raw, industrial energy you’d expect from an album that fits into those niche sub-genres.

The band doesn’t just make music; each member fills other roles both in the band and in the industry, predominantly on the recording and engineering end.

So there’s that.

They’re creators and innovators at heart. And, with Maxed Out On Distractions, the guys inject just enough classic LA punk to draw lineage to their roots while slapping you full-force with something that is invariably their own.

In “Love Letters”, Corners puts an emphasis on synth, drawing forth traits of gloomy goth-rock and the darker side of new wave. Shot and directed by Alfredo Lopez, the video, too, is dark and smokey.

But no song had greater impact on my love of Maxed Out On Distractions than the closing track, “The Spaceship”.

Not only is it an insanely catchy post-punk number, the video quickly became an all-time favorite:

I’ve only touched on two songs, but rest assured that Maxed Out On Distractions is packed with more that are just as dark, hard-hitting, and effortlessly cool as the two above.

The band jumps between the synth-heavy sounds of “Love Letters” on songs like “We’re Changing”, and the raw, gritty guitar of “Spaceship” on others like “Against It”.

This back-and-forth keeps the album interesting while simultaneously keeping it from getting monotonous.

Maxed Out On Distractions is one of the reasons I stopped publishing year end lists. There is so much amazing music out there that it is impossible to stay on top of it all. Inevitably, something will slip into the top five in the next few years to come.

Maxed Out On Distractions is my missed Top 5 LP of 2014.

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