Max Frost

Atlantic Records / New York, NY

Max Frost by Jimmy Fontaine
Max Frost by Jimmy Fontaine

Max Frost wasn’t a man of many words. His lunchtime set at the Atlantic Records office, meant to be both an album launch and a “special treat” for label employees, wasn’t long either, but in the brief time he played through his EP, he still managed to leave a distinct impression as an up and coming artist who’s here to stay.

Taking the stage after a few brief words by an Atlantic Records Exec, Frost launched right into the music, opening with “Paranoia,” his hit single from 2014 before it landed on his just released EP, Intoxication.

Though each song was thoroughly enjoyable, and the brevity of the set left us all breathlessly eager for more, the most memorable tune was the searing “Let Me Down Easy,” during which the drummer stood up from his stool and lead the audience in an enthusiastic and impeccably rhythmic clap along. Without missing a beat, Frost’s falsetto pipes soared above on the universally understood chorus about the pains of an unrequited love, “If you’re gonna let me down/let me down easy.”

A terrific showman, Frost immediately ratcheted the energy back up, and had the lunch time, and (pardon my French) liquor-free audience bobbing and swaying. One of the most impressive aspects of the show was how much- but not too much- noise he, his drummer, and his guy Friday (on guitar, synth, keys and who knows what else) managed to generate.

Another novel aspect of the performance was that Frost seems to have found a perfect balance between new school and old school rock n roll. Though the band boasts at least two Macbooks on stage, providing an electronic undercurrent to the sound and helping them generate the noise of ten musicians, Frost’s guitar playing and stage presence is the central focus of the show; with his hip wagging, great hair and soulful swagger, he wraps an audience around his finger, demanding full attention like- dare I say?- a young Presley for a new millennium.

– Emily Gawlak

Got something to say?