I remember being at some record store in Raonoke, Virginia and seeing Max Eider‘s Best Kisser In the World in the used bin. I was with friends Mike and Bill who use to preach the gospel of the Jazz Butcher to the unconverted. For some reason I had a hard time drinking the Jazz Butcher kool-aide (I’ve since converted), but his guitarist Max Eider was aces as far as I was concerned. Back then the best Jazz Butcher songs to me were DRINK, Down the Drain, and Who Loves You Now. Even back in those dark ages Eider’s only solo album was out of print so I snatched it up and coveted it, reveling in its breezy, cocktail jazz influenced pop.
Eider had left the Jazz Butcher right before releasing Best Kisser on the ill-fated Big Time Records. After that he would show up on David J’s solo albums and tours but there was no follow up to his first album until Hotel Figueroa appeared to my surprise in 2001 on another ill-fated label, Vinyl Japan. This second solo album picked up right where he left off nearly 15 years earlier. The Jazz Butcher, David J and Owen Jones all played on it. Was Hotel a one-off thing or would there be more Max Eider records to follow? That answer came six years later with Back In the Bedroom. This one was recorded almost entirely solo with Eider relying on his laptop for the rhythm tracks.
As the years progress it seems like the wait between Max Eider decreases a half life from the last one. It’s been only three years since Back In the Bedroom and Eider is back with his fourth album. Disaffection was recorded in the same way as Bedroom in that he’s doing it all with his guitar and computer and a few friends for some backing vocals, harmonica and pedal steel. He’s written a couple of his best songs to date for album number four. The first single Nice Guy harks back to My Other Life and Sensitive Touch from Best Kisser except Eider kind of snarls when he sings that he no longer gives a damn. My other favorite from the album Can’t Touch Me Know goes for the Raking Up Leaves cocktail pop that he does so well. My only complaint about the record is that its tempo doesn’t to vary much. All the songs are good, they just kind of run together. I think a couple more uptempo ones could have made it better. Minor complaints aside, Disaffection is my second favorite Max Eider record after Best Kisser of course. At this trajectory, we can probably expect the next album in 18 months, and if we don’t I have faith that Eider will turn up eventually with his sensitive touch.
Mp3: Max Eider – Nice Guy (from Disaffection. Download the single and/or buy the album at Max’s web site)