Pick Your Rock and Metal

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bringing the 80s Brimstone to 2013

IT was the decade that style forgot; a decade of floppy fringes, stupid baggy trousers, Boy George immitators and balaclavas were de rigeur for various terrorists alphabet soup named organisations. Amidst these fashion abominations rock 'n' roll rose, defiant: cocking its collection nose at these weaklings.

Despite the hard rock and metal's own fashion abominations (Poison, Motley Crue amongst others spring to mind) the music and the attitude was an antidote to the miserable gets into 'New Romance' and the perfect antibiotic to the destruction of industry by Thatcher and her ilk.

In 2013 we no longer have the Cold War politics of Reagan and Thatcher, but we do have the 'terrorist threat'. We don't have Thatcher, but we do have Tories in de facto control and selling off the country's assets like the Royal Mail.

Agree or disagree with the politics it feels that the time is ripe for the hard rockers and metalheads to rise again; cut-off denims, high tops and bullet belts are long overdue a return as fashion items and there is a need of a musical landcape on the scene that encompasses thrash, glam and all the glitterati attitude that bands in the 80s adopted.

Amidst the local rising stars Maverick seem to have been caught in a time warp, as if transported from the era of Cinderella, Faster Pussycat and Guns 'n' Roses to 2013. And that is no bad thing.

Their five-track ep released earlier this year (we're catching up on a backlog of reviews) Maverick make a statement of intent; a statement that this is our way, this is the 80s way, hop on the rollercoaster or piss off.

This is music that makes you want to cruise in the car, volume cranked and the wild abandon that comes with knowing a beer and a gig is a few short minutes away from you.

This is music that transports you to an era when this type of rock was pure escapism. And we need that now just as we did in the 80s.

That's not to say that this ep is flawless. While self-titled opener Maverick and closing track Easy Come Easy Go are tremendous songs, at times the production and mix seem a bit off. The cymbals are very priominent at the expense of the bottom end at times. Singer Davey Balfour has a unique voice, but needs to move to having his own identity, because the echoes of Tom Keifer are a little too noticeable.

Lyrics are a little too misogynistic at times - one of the more distasteful side of 80s rock that we should have moved on from.

Set those issues aside and put simply these are five tracks that are fun. Songs you can enjoy rocking out to.

With the statement of intent of 'Maverick' first to assault your aural senses with lead solos and the defiant cry "Stop us if you Dare" it is a quick rampage through the sleaze of 'Cat Got Your Tongue", the challenge to Satan on 'Helfire & Brimstone' before 'Top Heavy' punishes and 'Easy Come, Easy Go' rounds things up with a more considered attitude.

Already Maverick have carved out a place on Northern Ireland's live circuit, delighting fans who remember the 80s and those discovering the music of the era for the first time.

This is a collection of five songs that are a foundation to build upon for live shows and what we sincerely hope will be more releases.

Yep - as they say: "Fists in the air!"

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