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Maggy Simpson | ‘Lab Rat & Lobster’

Why anyone in their right mind would call a band Maggy Simpson, I have no idea. It’s not even spelled correctly.

Alright, possibly if you were some joke grind act that expected to live for about one album. Not, it must be said, if you’re trying to be a serious hard rock / metal contender featuring members from another very respected act.

And as for ‘Lab Rat and Lobster’ – er, what?

It just all sets the wrong tone, even if there is an answer.

The band and the album need renamed and re-released, because they’re shooting themselves in the foot right from the start if not. That would be a travesty – because the music is excellent, and in some places exceptional.

Bat Kinane, late of Glyder, knows what he’s doing. This is a bacth of hard rock and metal standards that any fan of the traditional end of the genres could find few flaws with.

It begins in a sort of soft, slightly dull way – likeable, but not electric.

‘High Time To Die’ is decent, but polite – the production is too gentle for the sentiment, and the vocals could be angrier. Same with ‘Spending Time’ – a great riff, but marred slightly by some confused sounding harmony changes on the chorus.

It’s a nice song though, looking back at old days and with a wistful, reminiscent feel. It’s a key theme on the whole album.

After this one, it all changes, and the album starts to fucking rock in no uncertain terms.

‘Last Days Of Cool’ is nothing short of brilliant. The echoed, plucked strings are pure classic rock ballad in the vein of Poison, GnR, Ratt, Whitesnake, you name it – this riff and vocal hook is up there with the very, very best. It’s a melancholy, hopeful journey through teenage rock memories that just hits the spot exactly.

OK, the chorus needed a bit more oomph, but all the other credentials are there and the harmonies are fantastic.

After that there’s more of the rock – with the pumping, driving ‘Sorry’ and ‘Gun Fun’, which to my ear sounds straight off Alice Cooper’s ‘Hey Stoopid’ – an exact rendition of that growling theatrical vocal.

‘On Blabbermouth’, despite a title that will become tired with time, is another fantastic rocker – especially its dirty end. The album just gets better and better as it goes on.

I cant wait to see Maggy Simpson live, because you know that like Glyer, they’ll deliver. I cant fathom the band name, and it’ll stymie any efforts they make at getting big. If they had something more straightforward, they’d have a lot more chance, and keeping it is doing this great music a disservice.

The theme of boozy youth and wistfully looking back at timez gone past is all over this album, and it’s a great thing to listen to.

You’ve got to check it out. Ignore the name and title. I’ve found myself coming back to it for an uncomplicated, enjoyable rock spin many times now. Especially ‘Last Days Of Cool’.

3.8 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 01/08/13

  1. Skid Row rip off lyrics!

  2. Karl Leavey Says:

    ‘Maggy Simpson’

  3. Kind of expected the vox to be more cock rock than this and a little disappointed they aren’t. Not a bad track though overall.

    The name though…….. It’s not good. Not good at all

  4. Bat Kinane Says:

    Thanks for the review, regarding the name its a tough one, its really just a name and as proud of the album as we are, who is really going to take two 40 year old men seriously? I think to be a successful metal act and play live, its really a young mans game, anyway we hope to follow up with another album because we enjoy what we do and thanks again to metal ireland for the support

  5. Colin Dunne Says:

    Hey Bat, just curious, will ye be gigging this stuff at any stage?

  6. Bat – I get where you’re coming from re Maggy Simpson – child that observes the world and never grows old, etc. But it’s way too subtle and people will need to hear the record first in order to get that. Trouble is they’ll make snap judgements.

    Which is a shame given such class tracks.

  7. Bat Kinane Says:

    I guess you are right about the name and people will make judgements and dismiss it, I discussed it with Shane and we both decided to stick with the name, people used to say the same that the name Glyder put them off. Of course I would love an opportunity to rock it out live but its not practical for us at this time,Im looking forward to writing with Shane again, I think we work great together so we will see what happens in the future

  8. Little to be fucking at giving out about a bands name! Does Pinhead write reviews for MI?

  9. greaterfool Says:

    What’s in a name?

    I like it and I like King Parrot too.

  10. Eoin McLove Says:

    The old name debate. If you think a name is not important to a band then you are living in la la land.

  11. Ed Somers Says:

    That sounds pretty cool, vocal remind me of Mustaine in a good way

  12. Christ,the band name album title and cover art have “cult classic” written all over them.You may be on to something here lads! Even though it wouldn’t normally be my bag,I’m going to force myself to get into this.

  13. Correct me if I’m wrong but why would you want to live in a world where all bands strictly adhere to the traditional metal aesthetic? If they were called STEELFORCE or NECROSITY or something would you think they were good? It’s like being told what to wear by a guy with a ring through his nose. Fuck that

  14. Karl Leavey Says:

    i just want to live in a word where band names aren’t absolutely atrocious, who said anything about traditional metal aesthetic?

  15. Era Chris Says:

    Everything about this project makes me feel antsy. It’s a pity Schiller’s distinction with regard to naive versus sentimental art isn’t better known… and that goes for the name, the art and the music. Bit prickish of me… but what a waste of talent.

  16. sounds pretty good to me!
    I dont know, and dont want to know the reason behind the terrible name or if its a temporary thing, it definitely needs to change.

  17. agree with the cult classic comment and the album got a great reaction on my radio show if being huge on community radio in donegal is anything to go by

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