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Monday, September 1, 2008

CD Review: Inca Maya - Inca Maya

Inca Maya - Inca Maya
2008, Inca Maya Music

Inca Maya can't seem to figure out if they are The Ramones, The Bee-Gees, Parliament, Extreme or Robert Cray. The Jacksonville, Florida band is relatively new, just starting to play live in the last year. Nevertheless singer/songwriter Matt Grondin and drummer/lyricist Michael "The Sultan" Cansler have been writing songs together for five years. Bringing Shane Platten (bass), Andrew Block (guitar) and Chris Spies (keyboards) into the fold, Inca Maya had a significant amount of material to work with. Inca Maya's self-titled debut is a bit of musical ADD, running all over the musical map at a moment's notice.

Inca Maya is a provocative and creative success, yet stylistically is something of a nightmare. Inca Maya try to appeal to everyone on their self-titled debut, and unfortunately may end up appealing to few because of this. It is admirable for a band or artist to be able to play anything well (and Inca Maya does), but it makes it difficult to build a band identity or a consistent sound that fans will identify with. It's unfortunate that this is true, because the album is quite the masterpiece. Opening with the tantric rocker Where You Are, Inca Maya starts us down a road of musical discovery so vast it loses cohesion. Moving through reggae/rock (Insomnia), 1970's jazz/soul rock (Destinado), Crunchy punk (Let It Roll) and sonic layered mellow rock (Temple Of Stone), Inca Maya makes more stylistic changes in the first five songs that most bands make in five albums. Highlights include Where You Are, Ghosts, Salvation and The Simple Things.

Artistically and musically Inca Maya is a great album. Musicians will love it. Many people will have a hard time listening to it as an album because of the grossly disparate styles. I would think that significant critical acclaim is due Inca Maya, followed by less than stellar sales. It's just too good and too varied to be too commercial. I am not sure if this was the intent of Inca Maya, or if it was an attempt to please everyone. If it was the latter then I am afraid it may have failed. If the intent was to create an artistic and musical masterpiece, then well done. You nailed it.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Inca Maya at You can purchase a copy of Inca Maya at


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