Album Reviews

Maverick – Quid Pro Quo Review

quid pro quo_cover

Record Label: Massacre Records

Release Date: 28th November 2014

Links: https://www.facebook.com/MaverickBelfastuk

 

Line Up:

David Balfour – Vocals

Ryan Sebastian Balfour – Guitar

Ric Cardwell – Guitar

Richie Diver – Bass

Mike Ross – Drums

 

Track Listing:

Event Horizon
Snakeskin Sinner
Paint By Numbers
Got it Bad
In Our Blood
Quid Pro Quo (One More Day)
Electric
Rock ‘n’ Roll Lady
Shackled
Last Addiction
Side By Side
Took The Night

 

Maverick were formed two years ago and in that time have released a critically acclaimed EP (“Talk’s Cheap”) and gained a reputation for putting on a great live show.  After signing to Massacre Records, the “hard rockin’, heavy hittin’, kick-ass, dual guitar wielding wrecking machine from Belfast, Northern Ireland” are now releasing their debut album, “Quid Pro Quo”.

“Snakeskin Sinner” is a great start to the album (“Event Horizon” being a mood setting track rather than music) with its tale of an unscrupulous person the band have met on their way up the music industry ladder. I’d love to hear the full tale one day!  The first thing that hits me is that David Balfour has the perfect voice for this kind of music.  He has just the right amount of rough edge to his voice and with a great range, he sounds exactly as you think he will/should before the first line.  The background vocals are also excellent and work really effectively with David’s voice.  I particularly like the back and forth on “Paint By Numbers”, the video for which is out already on YouTube and is possibly my favourite song on the album.  Picking parts from some great bands such as Ratt, White Lion and there are even traces of the mighty Van Halen in there, this song is a great advert for the album as a whole.  It has a brilliant chorus with a hook that’ll stay in your head for days, a marvellous solo and a riff with a great groove to it.  And I love the lyrics too.  A truly great song in my opinion.

Actually, the lyrical content of the whole album is worthy of mention because of the variety of subjects tackled.  Songs about social conformity or musical industry experiences rub shoulders with the more usual content of rock ‘n’ roll or women, showing a maturity to the songwriting which bodes well for the future.

The production of the album is very impressive for a debut too, with everything sounding clear and easy to place in the mix.  For example, as the background vocals play such an important part of the songs it would have been easy to get it wrong and have them too much “in the background”, ruining the impact but they are given equal space to the lead vocal  which works really well.

It would be a disservice to the album as a whole to point out the highlights in songs when it has such a high overall standard.  And it depends which song is currently playing as to which one is a favourite – always a good indicator of a strong album.

I felt very comfortable listening to this album because being a teenager in the ‘80’s this type of music was my daily sustenance.  I think others my age will also enjoy this because when music is done this well, it doesn’t have to be ground-breaking to be effective.  I don’t need to have a sudden Hardcore-type breakdown in the middle of a song to make it interesting, sometimes familiar is good too.

 

Written by Duncan Everson

Ratings    Duncan    8/10

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