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Max Webster - Universal Juveniles CD (album) cover


Max Webster

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Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Max Webster rocks their last studio album!

Before Kim Mitchell was an established solo artist there was Max Webster. They'd already had a string of successful albums before this one, and on this one they pulled out all the stops. While not progressive at all in this outting there is still some progressive flavor. Most of this is in the track BATTLE SCAR, which is the albums biggest standout and features the members of label-mates and fellow Canadians - Rush. Geddy and Kim's voice work very well together, creating a great high-low effect, while Geddy's bass gives the track a really Rush feel (This album is for you - the Rush completionist!). Apart from that theres some great hard rock songs on here. The opener, IN THE LAND OF GIANTS, has a blindingly fast guitar riff from Kim with some great melodies in the chorus, a great song all around. Unfortunately, that kind of music is not throughout the entire album. There's some more strait forward stuff, such as CHECK and WHAT DO YOU DO... which is okay, but not amazing. Some of the other good songs on here are the ones where Webster goes outside the box (if even a little bit) on tracks like JUVENILES DON'T STOP and DRIVE AND DESIRE. CHALKERS is another good song with a cool pace to it that's pseudo-progressive, same goes for CRY OUT FOR YOUR LIFE.

All in all this is a good rock album with some prog elements. Of course, the collaboration with Rush is enough to make any big Rush fans buy it, and wile they may only be on one track the rest of the album definitely has it's moments and is well worth the buy. Recommended for anyone to needs to hear Rush in a not Rush song, anyone who likes 70s classic rock, and anyone who wants to hear Kim before something like "Go for a Soda" or "I'm a Wild Party". 3 stars! Good album!

Report this review (#154504)
Posted Thursday, December 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is pretty much the very first Kim Mitchell solo album. Terry Watkinson was very much a part of the Max Webster sound, and he's only featured slightly here on keyboards. His replacement was Dave Stone (of RAINBOW). _Cry Out Your Life_ and _Chalkers_ are the only proggy tracks here, whereas the others are competent hard rock and hint at the direction Kim Mitchell would take as a solo artist. _Battle Scar_ is the winner here for fans of Rush, which is a colaboration between both Rush and Max Webster, sort of like a omen to the King Crimson double trio of the '90s without the ThraK attacK.
Report this review (#163687)
Posted Tuesday, March 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars This final record from MAX WEBSTER is my least favourite studio album from them, so no they didn't go out with their best stuff. Terry Watkinson has left at this point leaving Kim to pretty much run the show. Watkinson does play on the song "Battle Scar" but it wasn't recorded at the same time as the rest of the album. Gotta love the album cover with Mitchell on the run wearing a bright yellow body suit with white boots on. Haha.

"In The World Of Giants" opens with some speed of light guitar work from Kim before the rest of the band comes in. Not a bad uptempo tune. "Check" is one of my top three songs on here. It's a short pedal to the metal rocker. Guitar riffs to open as Kim tells his story with passion. Classic WEBSTER. "April In Toledo" has grown on me somewhat. I like the chorus and those earlier words "She's taking a break from my face." "Juveniles Don't Stop" is a straight forward rock tune. "Battle Scar" doesn't sound like it belongs for a reason. We have two bands in the studio (RUSH & MAX WEBSTER) playing this song together, so it's much more powerful. It opens with low end guitar and bass as heavy drums come in and then Kim starts to sing. Geddy comes in vocally 1 1/2 minutes ripping it up with those high pitched screaming vocals like he did in the seventies. Check him out 4 1/2 minute in as well. Great finale to this one. A friend of mine saw MAX WEBSTER at "Maple Leaf Gardens" on New Years eve play this song, and he watched in amazement as Geddy came out on stage playing his teardrop bass, and then he started to sing to the roar of the home town faithful. "Chalkers" features some nice bass throughout. The title of the album comes from a line in this song. "Drive And Desire" opens with some nice drum work as guitar comes in grinding then vocals. Good tune. "Blue River Liquor Shine" is my other top three track along with "Battle Scar" if your keeping track at home. Drum intro as vocals and strummed guitar follows. Something uplifting about this track. I think it's Kim's soaring vocals actually. "What Do You Do With The Urge" features in your face vocals with lots of piano. The best parts of "Cry Out Your Life" are the guitar solos before 3 minutes and 5 minutes in.

I would suggest any of their four earlier albums to this one, but RUSH fans will want to hear "Battle Scar" for sure.

Report this review (#179321)
Posted Saturday, August 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've recently been compiling a top 30 all time favourite albums and for some reason 'Check' (Track 2) popped into my head so I revisited my vinyl copy of this once fav of mine. The result? it's a very serious contender for my top 30 and put a big smile on my face in the process. I bought it originally back in 1980 on the strength of the Rush duet 'Battlescar' but to be honest whilst that track is a belter it's not the most polished of them (I believe it was recorded 'live' ie a single take) with three out of the other four tracks on side A standing solidly against it (and two of those are definitely better). After buying it again on CD (just so I could get it in the car/office - something I rarely do if I've got the vinyl), I subsequently worked through their back catalogue, but whilst there are a few superb tracks amongst their earlier works - 'Gravity', 'Hangover', The Party', 'Oh War', and 'Research At Beach Resorts' - no one album matches this one for overall quality. As this is a mainly prog archive, and though it merits more than a 4, I feel that a '5' might just be a tad too much.
Report this review (#189071)
Posted Thursday, November 13, 2008 | Review Permalink

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