Maverick - Quid Pro Quo (Massacre Records)

Updating the sounds of the eighties in fine style...

Despite releasing an album clothed in a knock-off eighties thrash cover and finding a home with German home of the extreme, Massacre Records, Northern Irish rockers Maverick have actually produced a hard-edged slice of hair metal that is sure to appeal to fans of the likes of modern day leaders of the genre Crazy Lixx and older heroes in the vein of Guns n’Roses and Skid Row.

It’s an appealing noise they’ve cooked up, all low slung axe belligerence and jacked-up gang vocal mayhem, the sum of which gets the feet tapping within seconds of impact on the ears. David Balfour’s vocals are gritty enough to achieve maximum authenticity – on the likes of Paint by Numbers he sounds a bit like LA Guns’ cockney carouser Phil Lewis, and when the going gets a bit tough for him he’s backed up immediately by those beer fuelled backups, the whole band defying you not to get involved with some of the catchiest choruses you’ll hear created by anyone under the age of fifty currently plying their wares in this arena.

Semi title track One More Day (Quid Pro Quo) is a particularly fine piece of work, while the slinky Electric really does have the sort of low waisted strut the true giants of this genre possess; The key thing about Maverick is that they don’t mark time during the verses waiting for a gonzoid chorus to get them out of trouble – every bit of every song has something to recommend it here. Electric really does possess just as much quality melodicism in its verses as it does in its choruses, and then tops the lot with a truly brilliant solo. This is truly monstrous stuff.

Look, the bottom line here of course is that Maverick are offering you absolutely zero if it’s avant garde thrills and spills you’re after; But if you’re more interested in a soundtrack to good times and whiskey-soaked high jinx then, the afore-mentioned Crazy Lixx aside, you won’t find a better purveyor treading the boards in 2015. Highly rcommended!

Quid Pro Quo is out now.