The new Paul Spencer & The Maxines album, entitled "Whatever Forever and Ever", is the sound of a band immersed in 70's AM radio rock.
"I Was Doing Great (Before I Met You)" and "Rite On Time" are both steeped in 12-String Rickenbackers, tambourines and Beatlesque harmonies - the first sounding like Tom Petty circa '78, while "Rite On Time" is pure Byrds jingle-jangle folk rock. A tasteful cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" uses a Mellotron to great effect, while horns give the rocker "Crash City" a Quadrophenia-era Who feel.
"Summer In the Spring", "Burning Up from the Inside" and "Top of My Head, Bottom of My Soul" combine acoustic guitar, slide guitar, Fender Rhodes and strings to create a wall of sound that is very 70s - at times, it recalls some of the work of Al Stewart and Paul Simon from that decade.
"The Calm After the Storm" is sprinkled with psychedelia and has an Eastern-tinged bridge; Paul Opalach's backwards guitar solo is a sonic beauty and one of the record's highlights.
The calypso-flavored "Double Tunnel Vision" is a light fun tune; "No Good Reason" is drenched in bluesy Americana, while the catchy "Project Serpo" manages to fuse Beach Boys-style harmonies with theremin sounds.
Skillfully produced by Opalach, "Whatever Forever and Ever" is the type of album that tends to reveal its charms over repeated listens. Displaying many influences, a few of which were hinted on the EP "Either Sunset or Sunrise", it also shows a band unafraid of experimentation.