They’ve done it yet again.
Northern Ireland’s Maverick, on their third full length and now on vinyl, have stepped up the quality in both songwriting and musicanship once more.
The slow, confidently building musical ‘Dusk’ opens the LP, a short track that leads into ‘Cold Star Dancer’ proper, and immediately sets out Maverick’s stock on this, their most accomplished album so far.
Huge in scope, heavy on the backing vocals group chorus shouts, it’s vocally stunning and musically intricate, it’s clear a lot of work has went into preparing for the recording.
‘Myrmidon’ in particular has hooks absolutely hanging out of it, catchy and made for live shows. It’s one of many highlights here, with several tracks vying for the spot of best on the album.
The drumming has been brought much more to the forefront than on previous albums, new guy Jonny Millar acquitting himself very well. He brings a new heaviness to the sound that really beefs it up, metal rather than hard rock, it’s absolutely pounding at times.
‘Kiss Of Fire’ could have come off any 80s Ratt album, it’s a short, punchy number with a massive chorus, and harkens back to the lead single off debut album Quid Pro Quo.
The sheer atmospherics and whispered overtures on“Magellan Rise” really set this song apart from anything else on the album. It’s a cracking, epic way to kick off the side B and it’s powerful, fistbanging and solidly rocking.
“Seize The Day” follows this with a much more carefree style, the Twisted Sister style opening is a nice tribute, and it’s probably the most fun song on the album.
“Kings” has a bridge and a chorus that absolutely scream 80s classic, it builds up to something that wouldn’t have been out of place on a Whitesnake or Journey album, it has that timeless sound, revamped for 2018.
The album closes with a cover of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl”, which although seeming incongruous, is rocked up enough and played enthusiastically enough to fit in perfectly with the album, and it’s a great way to finish up.
Overall it’s another top quality release for one of Northern Ireland’s finest bands.
With them playing constant festivals and tours with big name bands, headlining shows overseas and putting out a collection of excellent releases, the future is bright for Maverick, as frankly they can do no wrong.
Here’s hoping for the previous 2 albums to see a vinyl release too.
4.8 / 5 – Dónal McBrien ::: 04/07/18