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Maverick: Cold Star Dancer

Northern Ireland’s Maverick return with a third album, Cold Star Dancer and a clear intent on spreading their refined melodic rock goodness far and wide. Opening cut “Dusk” proves something of a false start however, the minute or so of drums and admittedly atmospheric guitars all feeling a little needless. Especially when they fade out before first track proper, the album’s title cut, turns straight round and kicks you where it hurts. Mixing the smoothness of FM with the insistence of Tyketto and adding a harder edge, this is what melodic rock should sound like in 2018. Vocally David Balfour lands somewhere between the cutting tones of ex-Giuffria man David Glen Eisley and the much more harsh attack of WASP’s Blackie Lawless. Allowing Maverick to utilise their more considered side to the full, while also rocking out harder and with much more force than many bands operating in this arena.

“Myrmidon” (a force commanded by Achilles in Greek Mythology) heads straight for the tougher end of the spectrum, snare explosions fired out at full pelt as a gang vocal raises the stakes far beyond what you might have expected. Drummer Jonathan Millar (a new addition to the line-up) is a star throughout, his precise pummels of percussion the basis that this album is built upon. Whereas “Kiss Of Fire” actually has a hint of Kiss Of The Gypsy about it, the big and bold backing vocals hitting hard. With David’s brother Ryan now the sole member of the band’s guitar department, things lean heavily on his ability to rip out gut wrenching riffs, and sparkling solos. Both of which he proves thoroughly adept at, with “Viper” the perfect illustration of the spark and fire he can provide, although “Kings” is just as captivating.

With “Seize The Day” adding a sleazier slide, “Goodbye” a much more glamtastic kiss and “Magellan Rise” also suggesting that this lot can slot into something much more complex and damn near progressive (albeit it with a high kicking shimmer), Cold Star Dancer takes any notion that the difficult third album syndrome might have scuppered Maverick’s chances and dashes it against the proud heavy rock they serve up.

Melodic rock bands from the UK tend to get lost in the shuffle of American pretenders and the Scandinavian conveyor belt. Maverick deserve a much better fate than that and Cold Star Dancer deserves to be seen as one of the best melodic rock albums of recent times. And that’s without even mentioning the Thin Lizzy like cover of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl”. Impressive doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

Track Listing
1. Dusk
2. Cold Star Dancer
3. Myrmidon
4. Kiss of Fire
5. Goodbye
6. Ex Machina
7. Magellan Rise
8. Seize the Day
9. Viper
10. Kings
11. Devil's Night
12. Jessie's Girl (Bonustrack)

Added: May 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Maverick on Facebook
Hits: 996
Language: english

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