Album Review: Max Raptor - Portraits

In the current climate it’s hard to get through a day without hearing just how hopeless a situation our country faces; thus, there is arguably no better time than now for Max Raptor to make their particular bid for stardom.

There is a sound that marries 90s alt-rock sensibilities with the classic UK punk sound of the 70s. Couple that with some big singalongs and you’ve got something so infectious on your hands, that it should probably come bundled with the alcohol rub that you get in hospital wards.

Musically it’s weighty, riff-heavy, rock and roll with a surprisingly high groove-content. The band have an ear for anthemic, rabble-rousing choruses and by the time that rollicking first track 'The King Is Dead' reaches its inexorable conclusion and releases the “I pin this badge upon my chest” battle-cry of 'The Great And The Good' it’s evident that they’repossessed of more than just an attitude.

Their socially aware, often politically motivated lyrics deal with the dissatisfaction of the British public at large. The standout track, 'Obey The Whips' is a scathing comment on democracy by decree while Beasts portrays the problems and hopelessness of those forgotten by society. Mostly absent, however, is the class-war crutch so often synonymous with music of this sort, instead dissatisfaction is portrayed as something experienced by everyone, and why not?

'Carolina' and excellent final track, 'The Alarm' are again astute social commentaries, further backed up by quality songwriting and delivery. The production throughout is polished but knowingly gritty and complements the sound perfectly.

There are no let-ups in 'Portraits' but this works in their favour, helping communicate the immediacy of their message: Just like the masses that pack the public spaces of our cities and towns, they’re here and they’re not going away any time soon.

Overall, a damn fine debut.

4/5

'Portraits' by Max Raptor is released on April 11th through Naim Edge Records.

Official Website

Max Raptor on MySpace and Facebook.

Nick Worple

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