Crashing Gates is a formidable snapshot of just how much Kevin Max has developed as a true artist to be reckoned with since the long gone days of dc Talk. The EP shares some thematic ties with The Imposter (Kevin Max, 2005), like the topic of the apocalypse for example (“Out Of The Wild”), but this recording has raised the bar to a new level with Max’s tactful and intelligent lyrics and fresh songwriting.
“Future Love Song” and “Baby, I’m Your Man” both feature infectious melodies that refuse to stop reverberating in the brain of the listener for some time after the song has finished playing.
The guitar work on “Out Of The Wild,” beautifully captures the desperate and desolate tone that one might expect to witness in end-time America while the bridge provides an exquisitely bittersweet change-up in mood and tempo that, somehow, fits the song perfectly.
Another common thread between The Imposter and Crashing Gates is the song “Beautiful Mind” which as been redone with acoustic treatment and a more personal and desperate vocal tone for Crashing Gates. The new version, in my opinion, is an improvement over the original because it features a less-polished and more sincere, personal feel.
Overall, Crashing Gates is a landmark release for Max that should finally help old dc Talk fans to get off the dc Talk reunion bus and, instead, board Max Airways for a flight to an altogether different destination. In addition, Crashing Gates has the potential to break through to a wider mainstream audience where his artistic maturity can be appreciated and the subtle tact of his lyrics can simultaneously coax listeners to ask more questions about what they believe and who they are being lead by.
Crashing Gates indeed.