I almost didn't listen to this album at all. I know this sounds silly but words are important to me, usually that means the lyrics, but in this case it was the name of the band. Don't you think it sounds like the least amount of time ever spent thinking up a band name? Ever? Maximum Balloon. Hmph.
But if you can get past that, this is actually a truly exceptional album. Maybe Dave Sitek was just too busy producing great music to stop and think too much about the name? I did have another reason to be cautious though. Dave Sitek is one of the TV On The Radio boys and I do find their music a bit heavy going sometimes, just lots of noisy noises and not that much to hold my attention. Think of Maximum Balloon as like an accessible TVOTR. Or TV-lite. And very timely indeed. They seem to be the most achingly hip 'band's band' at the moment, it is becoming almost comical how many young emerging bands reference them so obviously. And I don't mind at all if it means I don't have to listen to the real thing.
Dave has some pretty cool friends too, and I can make no secret of my love for Karen O and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. A few of the other collaborating names I was not really aware of before, but they all add their own distinct flavour to each track. I guess he's kind of like a more credible Mark Ronson? Yeah, I like his album too, but don't tell anyone.