Nailed it again
Burton's Max Raptor have impressed us greatly since we first happened upon them by chance on the third stage at Download a few years ago. Their mini-album Portraits was amongst our albums of the year and anticipation is high for their debut full length Mother's Ruin release later this year.
Tonight we find them playing support to Dinosaur Pile Up on their UK tour and there is a decent crowd gathered inside Manchester's Ruby Lounge. Thankfully the air conditioning is doing its job as it's sweltering outside! They kick off in blistering style, singer Wil Ray instantly in the face of those nearest the front. The only problem is that the sound is way too loud early on and it threatens to spoil proceedings as it makes it impossible to pick out the individual parts or dynamics. Fortunately this gets sorted by the time second song Obey The Whips draws to a close. They air four new songs tonight and I have to say that they fit perfectly alongside the old songs. This is no bad thing as Max Raptor have hit upon a winning formula and if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
The whole band really get into the performance and they deserved a better reaction from the crowd. Don't get me wrong, they go down well but there was no hint of a pit unfortunately. Of the new songs it's recent single Breakers and England Breathes that impress most. Both follow Max Raptor's signature sound of chopping riffs and big choruses and you can easily see them becoming crowd favourites in years to come. What gives Max Raptor real appeal is the fact that they blend melodic punk with indie pop sensibilities and it gives them a unique sound. Couple this with their incendiary live performances and there really isn't much to complain about.
It's been short but it's certainly delivered and with the final two songs being The Great & the Good and The King is Dead it's a fantastic end to the set. I get the feeling that we may not get the chance to see Max Raptor in this size of venue too many more times. Certainly if the rest of the new album is as strong as the songs aired tonight then they are destined for bigger and better things. Hopefully the release of the new album will bring a headline tour with it and you can find out for yourself! Meanwhile chalk up another killer performance.