Max Becker sings the best two tracks off of Drive North and despite the main premise of each song (boning-in-a-car on the first, and love-gone-wrong on this one) manages to fit in lines regarding his main preconception: he loves music. Western popular music, to be specific. Where his brother and main frontman writes songs which clearly aspire to belong within the same catalog as other outsider-minded provocateurs from Greg Sage to Jello Biafra (but hasn’t gotten there yet), older brother MB writes within a continuum that includes Mick Jones and Grant Hart, meaning that to songwriters like them, good songs come first.
As it stands, MB is the superior song craftsman, as evidenced by his track’s facility with rhythmic shifts, a confident maturity to sink into an easy groove, and his apt usage of brill-building melodicism atop all of it. That being said, this gen-z guitarist is all-consumed with a specific kind of middle-class romance, the kind that’s been well-documented already and could benefit from his younger brother’s goofy-but-heady conceptual flights-of-fancy. It’s good that these two brothers are in a band together because they’ll need each other to develop.
Such classic songcraft in this semi-ballad, there’s no need to mention you-know-who but everyone will anyway. Shame.
RIYL: Marshall Crenshaw, Dwight Tilley, Alex Chilton, Robert Pollard, endlessly-talking-about-those-dudes