If it’s post-punk power pop with a contemporary twist you crave, then look no further than Midlands based Max Raptor’s debut mini album Portraits.
From the opener The King is Dead we are into full on hooky guitar orientated rock. Into track 2 The Great and the Good you think, yes, a band with something fresh to say. As someone getting on a bit, it’s good to see bands reflecting the times. In my day, the days of Beta Max and a hand held communicating system being a carrier pigeon, there were loads of bands with an anger and rage.
Track 3 Beasts, could be a hit single if given the necessary airplay. Track 4 Obey the Whips doesn’t relent and we hear an early Dave Grohl rock scream from Foo Fighters era when they were still good. By Carolina it becomes clear that Max Raptor are a Later With Jools Holland appearance away from making it big time. You can see Patron Saint (Of Nothing) being a summer festival favourite.
Overall there’s Killing Joke, The Clash and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. Max Raptor deliver that British punk attitude and do it effortlessly and unlike most new groups, in a manner that doesn’t feel contrived. They’ve been playing live for years now and the hard work’s starting to pay off. On Portraits producer Dan Weller captures that distinct energetic power of a band setting up and playing live, the way it should be. Along with the outstanding vocal and guitars, honourable mentions at this point to the power house of a rhythm section from Matt Stevenson on drums and Tom Garrett on bass.
If this band are playing at club near you, I’d catch them soon, before they start playing arenas and ignore the little people. An outstanding debut.
Review by Charlie Brown