Max Blam Jam – “Blowup Man”


It’s a gamble when muso’s break with genres they’re known for, and Max Blam Jam is a case in point. Glenn Rogers and Brian Khairullah both served in thrash metal mainstays, Deliverance. Don’t know this band? Best get your hands on their self-titled debut, “Deliverance”, released in 1989. Skip to “If You Will” and crank the volume – it’s a circle pit classic. Max Blam Jam’s “Blowup Man” is something wholly different. Brian swapped the bass for the microphone, while Glenn remained on guitar duty. They enlisted Cesar “Killer” Ceregatti (ex-Steel Vengeance) on bass and Dan Ceregatti on drums, and set out to produce a bluesy, funky rock and roll album. First released in 1991, “Blowup Man” has been reskinned for re-release on 26 January 2018.

In 1991, there was Pearl Jam’s “Ten” as well as the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”, and my ears place “Blowup Man” somewhere in between these two records. Maybe I should throw “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” (by the Spin Doctors) in there too. And that’s some ways away from heavy metal, huh?

Was the experiment successful? Let’s place a couple of tracks under the microscope.

[3] Desert Flower: A bluesy lament that tells the story of a girl, the “parched dry ground of her vacant heart just seems to cry out in pain.” There is tension here, as her heart threatens to turn to stone. I immediately think of the parable of the Sower, in Matthew 13. But, “Just like a desert flower in the sun, I raise my hands to You, waiting for Your grace to rain down on me.” It is this grace that David describes in Psalm 23:2, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.”

[4] I Love My Gun: I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m going to say that “I love my gun, it makes me feel so…” must be tongue-in-cheek. There’s bravado in the riffs, and the rhythm section is cocksure – there’s even a bass solo! To me it’s a sign that the band is having fun.

[6] Everybody (Needs Love): Cocked wah intro, reminiscent of that early QOTSA sound, with Brian’s voice somewhere between Perry Farrell and Ronnie James Dio (minus the bite) for the chorus: “Everybody looks for love, only one love”. We all search for love. We want to be accepted. Brian sings that it is God’s love that sets him free. At 01:24 I thought, “Jeremy” (by Pearl Jam), but the short bridge made way for a soulful solo instead. This is what I love; when the players put feeling into it.

[8] Apathy’s Child: Brian admonishes those who turn a blind eye to people in need; those people who are only concerned with themselves. The solo at 02:00 is blistering, before a brief vocal interlude that sees the return of the (very catchy) opening riff that supports a continuing guitar solo. The “I don’t care” chorus seems to suggest that there are opposing forces in the song; he who advocates for action, and those who remain apathetic. We are reminded of Acts 20:35, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

I have returned to “Blowup Man” a number of times now, and each time I hear something new. As the band name, Max Blam Jam suggests, this record packs a good punch, all the while keeping it groovy. Brian & co.’s foray into bluesier rock is a treat – go get it.

“Blowup Man” scores a smoothe 7/10

Written by Karakul

1. I Wasn’t Ready
2. Burning Deep Inside
3. Desert Flower
4. I Love My Gun
5. Standing Alone
6. Everybody (Needs Love)
7. Wild Billy
8. Apathy’s Child
9. Rescue Me
10. Because

Band members:
Glenn Rogers (guitars, backing vocals)
Brian Khairullah (vocals)
Cesar “Killer” Ceregatti (bass, backing vocals)
Dan Ceregatti (drums, backing vocals)

Label: Roxx Records

Year of Release: 1991, 2018 (limited edition)

Studio albums/EPs:
Blowup Man (full length, 1991 & 2018)

Follow them at: Facebook 

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video (audio) for ‘Apathy’s Child’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts