I have been following my local scene in Northern Ireland for quite a few years now and I have seen some bands come and some bands go. While my heart may have wept for the acts that decided to call it a day I have rejoiced with the ones who have decided to not only stay but grow as well. This one band in particular have grown to be a force to be reckoned with as they helped revive that classic, sleazy, 80’s rock sound which you don’t hear too much of these days. That’s right folks, I am talking about the one and only Maverick and their second full length album “Big Red.”
The one thing you are going to hear throughout this album from start to finish is huge guitar riffs from lead guitarist Ryan Balfour and the strong pipes of his brother and lead vocalist David Balfour. Don’t believe me? Well, just listen to the intro tracks “All For One” and “Free” which feature all these aspects, including an outstanding harmonising section from the rest of the band (and a bass solo from Richie Diver.)
The young bucks from Belfast have never shied away from expressing their musical influences from the likes of Poison to Winger and while you hear an influence of each of these bands throughout the album they were shown predominately in the catchy love song “The One” and the party classic “Whiskey Lover” that will have anyone listening to this album up dancing with a bottle of Jack in hand. There was even a tasteful Thin Lizzy/Dokken mixture added to the following track “Renegade.”
Of course there is one track and one track only that needs to be talked about and that is “Asylum.” That features some huge special guests; The Poodles lead vocalist Jakob Samuelsson on guest vocals and a guitar solo from Alice Cooper’s former guitarist Kane Roberts. The connection between Maverick and The Poodles started while Maverick supported The Poodles on their last European tour, this friendship then blossomed into what we have now, a powerful vocal duet between David Balfour and Jakob Samuel. While the solo was short but sweet the famous muscle man Kane showed us that he still has what it takes to blow us away, machine gun guitar or not.
As I stated at the start of this review, this band are a force to be reckoned with. The Maverick you hear in their debut E.P. “Talk’s Cheap” to this masterpiece are two totally different bands and that has been down to constant growth and maturity. I will say this though, this is an album that should not be listened to at low volumes, it needs to be turned up and up and up until your neighbour’s neighbours can hear it.
“Big Red” is set for release through Metalopolis Records on the 27th August 2016. Maverick are also set to perform a launch show for the album in the Limelight 2, Belfast on this date with special guests Stereo Nasty. Maverick will then be performing as both support and as Kane Robert’s band for a string of European dates during October/November 2016.
All For One / Free / The One / Mademoiselle / In The Night / Whiskey Lover / Renegade / Beyond The Gates / Asylum ft. Jakob Samuelsson & Kane Roberts / Fly Away