EP REVIEW: Max Raptor – Damage Appreciation
At Bring The Noise we’ve made it no secret that we really do applaud Midlands’s quartet Max Raptor for keeping the punk spirit alive in the British music scene. Following on from their 2013 debut full length Mother’s Ruin, they’re back with four track EP Damage Appreciation. There’s been a big change in the MR camp since the previous release: they’re now signed to Hassle Records and it’s safe to say we were very excited to see what this latest EP would bring…
Title track Damage Appreciation opens the release. We’re expecting a typical dose of loud, in your face punk rock and do we get it? Of course we do! From the onset we’re thrown lashings of rugged, rough guitar lines alongside the sharp, trademarks vocals of Wil Ray. MR are a band who never beat around the bush with their lyrics, with this track addressing the problems within the community with lyrics such as “what you don’t do, you’ll never do.” It’s a kick up the backside to stop lazing around. The tempo of this track sneakily picks up pace as the incredibly tight riffs become more prominent and the chaos kicks in. You’ll probably be chanting along to “out in the cold you need a friend” just like we were for a good five minutes following listening to this track…
Population may be familiar to some MR fans, due to it making regular appearances at their shows earlier this year. The recorded version packs an even more almighty punch and is back to the quartet at their strongest and finest. Drummer Pete Reisner acts as the carrier of this track with aggressive, frantic drumlines matched equally by the harsh vocals of Ray. We love a good sing-a-long chorus and this track provides it, standing out for all the right reasons for the pure punk goodness it oozes. It’s basically a musical punch in the face, and you know what? It might be the best punch we’ll ever receive.
Released as a free download a few months back, Blue On Red maintains the anthemic attitude of the EP. Throwing an enhanced melodic feel into the track, there’s still the punk edge in with fast paced verses and a sing-a-long chorus. Ray’s vocal delivery is consistent throughout, packed with emotion allowing you to tell he believes every word being spoken. We can visualise it now; a packed, sweaty venue with the crowd starting a ferocious pit as soon as this chorus kicks in chanting “it’s blue on red.”
As the release draws to a close it’s left to See Me Through to end what could possibly be our favourite EP of 2015 on a high. Standing out as being more experimental and a step in a new direction (it feels like a beefed up Christmas track at the start – maybe we’re a bit too excited for Christmas) with an array of tempos, sounds and tricks. Ranging from gritty, angsty vocals to lighter, melodic infused efforts with such a sudden contrast you can’t help but applaud how brash it is. There’s a point in which Ray’s sincere vocals are supported merely with gentle guitar lines and a driving drumline highlighting the slickness of the quartet as a whole.
Max Raptor never fail to release pure punk goodness and this EP has been no exception. With their trademark formula and a few twists in the tale they’ve struck gold with this release. No doubt providing fans with the long awaited new material they’ve been patiently waiting for, it’ll see MR going from strength to strength supported by Hassle Records. This is a release to make you sit up and pay attention because the quartet are back and ready to make you know just who they are.
Standout Tracks: Population, Blue On Red
For Fans Of: Bad Religion, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Gallows
Written By: Nicola Craig