We’ve been getting Max Raptor material for some years and the raucous punk/rockers get better each time.
The opener on this new album, Keep The Peace, is excellent: it sounded like they poured the ingredients of high energy punk into a tube of toothpaste and what came out was more intense and focused than what went in. But with no stripes, obviously. If only the whole album could have been squeezed through our metaphorical tube, it would be a classic.
Sound-wise it varies, from the old school shouty punk of Sham 69 to the harder edged melodic rock of Stiltskin and the more modern sound of bands like Enter Shikari. The openers are better, such as the previously mentioned Keep The Peace and Old Romantics. It’s old school and they do it well but then they switch to a more modern sound with the likes of Day Release (though it has a more traditional chorus) or Golden Age, which has a very original riff buried in it.
They’re good musicians but they need to pick a sound and stick to it. They’re good at it, so it doesn’t matter which, but we found it hard to stay interested as the album loses focus as it plays. Call-and-response shouty Sham 69 punk, hard punk/rock with guitar or angry punk? Pick one, but stay with it. A whole album of Keep The Peace (sharp guitar, riffy, virtuosity) or Golden Age (singalong, more of a group effort) would be good, but not the mix.
They’re probably excellent live in a sweaty venue and this collection of songs — more professional sounding, a tad heavier and better composed — show a band progressing. We remember Biffy Clyro churning out songs for a good few years before getting major recognition but when they did, those years of slog paid off. Try the excellent Golden Age, and if you like a loud noise, it’s a decent album.