newspaper says: come to party

From the Washington Post Express:

What's the secret to a long-rocking band? Unbridled passion? Unwavering commitment? For D.C.'s Max Levine Ensemble, endurance has meant something far simpler.

"The band just wasn't really able to break up," says vocalist David "Spoonboy" Combs. "There were a couple points when it looked like the band had reached its conclusion. But we couldn't agree on it, so we just kept playing together."

The group's brand of catchy pop punk might seem out of place in a town known for aggressive hardcore and mathy post-punk, but Combs isn't worried about that. "If someone writes us off because we have a hook in our song instead of a breakdown, I don't take offense to that," he shrugs.

The Ensemble's connection to D.C. runs deeper than musical aesthetics, anyway. "I think we've always been more connected based on types of shows we play rather than on the type of music we play: shows where people are finding wherever they can to put it on, shows that have a more politicized DIY aspect and have more political lean to the lyrics."

Many of the band's songs are so upbeat that you might be fooled into thinking they were simple, tossed-off tunes. But Combs says to listen closely: "[Our sound is] catchy, it's more fun, but we've also broached heavier things in our lyrics." Want proof? Check out, where you can find lyrics and free MP3s of their entire back catalog.

For TMLE's upcoming 10-year anniversary show, the band will be releasing a greatest-hits disc — except all of the tracks are new. "We have old records that we're running out of, and we thought, rather than re-pressing these old records that sound so different, we would rerecord them," Combs explains. "In some cases, we've been playing these songs for years, and they've progressed and changed. So, we wanted to document that."

From the Washington City Paper:

Ten years is an impressive milestone for any band, but it is an even more remarkable achievement in D.C., where the tendency is to implode before playing a record release show. The Max Levine Ensemble is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a party at the Black Cat, though you’re most likely to have encountered its scrappy brand of pop-punk in a church auditorium or crowded, overheated basement. With its history of serious-minded harDCore, the District can be a tough town for pop-punk. But a quick skim of David “Spoonboy” Combs’ lyrics—particularly on the excellent Them Steadily Depressing, Low Down Mind Messing, Post Modern Recession Blues EP—reveals an astute political consciousness that owes more to Dischord’s heyday than anything from the Lookout! Records catalog.