Max Raptor‘s track record at this stage in their career is exceptional; ‘Portraits’ and ‘Mother’s Ruin’ stand as two of the most overlooked albums in recent British punk rock history, and 2015’s recent ‘Damage Appreciation’ perfectly whetted the appetite for the Burton boys’ first full-length release on Hassle Records. Their self-titled record once again shows that the art of writing catchy hooks and bounce along songs comes so easily to them, so now it’s over to the public to sort themselves out and buy into the Max Raptor brand.
The drums on ‘Keep The Peace’ casually introduce us to the album, waits for the guitar riff to catch up, and then chugs along to the chorus in a crescendo of excitement to unveil a chorus worthy of nothing less than packed venues at full voice shouting it back at their frontman, Wil Ray.
Max Raptor are content in sticking to what they’re good at in ‘Big Divide’ with a gang vocal chorus that gives the aggressive, protest, punk music feel that the band have excelled at to date. When the joint singing doesn’t take place, the guitarists can usually be heard with backing woahs in ‘When I Was A Gentleman’ and ‘Damage Appreciation’ that made the cut from last year’s EP.
The highlight on the album, and probably in the full career of the band, is lead single ‘Old Romantics’; an Against Me! style rock track that has one of the best choruses that you’ll hear all year. It’s more melodic than their regular raw approach, but it delivers on every level, and is sure to become a staple moment in their live shows from now on.
The overall sound has definitely been tightened on the album, but the Max Raptor-in-your-face attitude is ever present and going nowhere. If there’s any justice in the music industry then doors should be starting to open for the band on the back of this record, and you should be seeing a lot more of the midlands punks.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)