Fireworks

Max Webster - 'High Class In Borrowed Shoes' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/25/5f/26/2513_maxwebsterhighclassinborrowedshoes_1343493757.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 28, 2012    
 
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1977 follow-up to Max Webster's self-titled debut.

If Max Webster’s self-titled debut was the blue touch paper, this 1977 follow-up was the explosion that would make the band a household name in their native Canada. In the interim drummer Paul Kersey had been fired and went on to form The Hunt (a couple of years earlier he had turned down an offer to replace John Rutsey in Rush!), his place taken by ex- Zing Dingo drummer Gary McCracken.

Musically the band had come under a little bit of pressure from Ray Danniels to give him an album he could work with, and as luck would have it they had been writing songs that were a little less out there anyway. They were still a million miles away from being a normal band and Kim Mitchell’s unique vocals kept them from being too commercial, but they got their hit single with the poppy ‘Gravity’ and the simple acoustic-based ballads ‘Words To Words’ and ‘On The Road’ were among their most accessible songs. They didn’t completely abandon the quirkiness either with the obtuse hard rocking title-track and the infectious ‘America’s Veins’ twisting and turning in breathless fashion, whilst the endearing ‘Diamonds, Diamonds’ and ‘Oh War!’ could have been other hit singles but for the former’s mid-song diversion and the latter’s F-word.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Towards the end keyboard player Terry Watkinson chipped in with a song and a lead vocal on the very melodic ‘Rain Child’, whilst the album came to a close with the longer ‘In Context Of The Moon’ (the moon is a recurring theme in Max songs!), which gave full rein to their progressive musical excesses and Pye Dubois’ lyrical obliqueness. The Terry Brown-produced opus was their most successful album, with a more powerful sound than the debut and a suitably eye-catching photo of the band on the cover. The remastered sound and Paul Suter’s sleeve essay are up to the usual high standard, so if you wish to check out this unique and wonderful band, ‘High Class In Borrowed Shoes’ would be the one to start with.

Phil Ashcroft

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