Album Reviews

Maverick – Cold Star Dancer Review

Released by: Metalapolis 

Release Date: 6 April 2018

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

 

Line Up:

David Balfour – vocals
Ryan Balfour – guitar
Richie Diver – bass
Jonathan Millar – drums

 

Tracklist:

01. Dusk
02. Cold Star Dancer
03. Myrmidon
04. Kiss Of Fire
05. Goodbye
06. Ex Machina
07. Magellan Rise
08. Seize The Day
09. Viper
10. Kings
11. Devil’s Night
12. Jessie’s Girl

 

The opening strains of Maverick’s new album Cold Star Dancer entitled “Dusk” doesn’t give the listener a 100% guarantee of what’s coming. The cover looks like it could be some sort of roots rock band with deep ties to The Black Crowes, but what follows is something else entirely different. I’d seen and heard the name a number of times over the last couple of years with their second album Big Red, but for whatever reason, I never checked it out, and now I’m deeply regretting that. Instead of being some hipster attempt at revamping classic rock, you’ve got a tight and powerful melodic hard rock bands with deep AOR roots.

“Dusk” leads into the title track that fairly well sets the tempo of the album. It’s instantly catchy and hooky thanks to tasty riffs from Ryan Balfour, fantastic vocals from David Balfour, and such a driving hard rock sound provided by bassist Richie Diver and drummer Jonathan Miller. And this keeps going through into “Myrmidon,” “Kiss of Fire,” and… you get the picture. Even when they take it down a notch with a song like “Goodbye” they still deliver an edge that is perfect. Very much enraptured with the classic bands of the 80’s that also delivered melodic hard rock, Maverick has very clearly done their homework- making sure they have the pre-requisite group vocal choruses, scintillating guitar licks, and such an immediately likable voice, plus the songs are so well written. Even their take on the Rick Springfield classic “Jessie’s Girl” is a killer update on it. While Maverick is paying homage they never blatantly steal anything- they simply show their love and reverence for that era by delivering their own unique take on it. If I have any quarrel with their sound is that sometimes the drums are a little over the top and detract a little bit. Clearly, Jonathan Miler is immensely talented, but there were some points on only a couple songs where it felt like it was a bit much. Still yet, the album is amazing, and even that one issue is fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Millar with David and Ryan Balfour and Richie Diver create a sound that is modern enough to have potential to skyrocket to the top while having a sound that is reminiscent of the old days for old farts like me.

If you’re not familiar with Maverick, I think it’s time for you to rectify that. Cold Star Dancer is a killer hard rock album dying to have a bigger audience. And having now gone back and checked out their earlier material, they’re only getting better and better as time goes on. Don’t let this one fall through the cracks, Maverick is a top-notch band.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 9/10

 

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