CD REVIEW MAVERICK – Firebird

CD REVIEW MAVERICK – Firebird
Independent
April 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8 ½ /10

There’s something irrepressible about 1970’s U.S. raunch n’ roll, a la Ted Nugent, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, George Thorogood & the Destroyers et al. All unkempt hair, tight muscle-bound riffs and unshakeable swagger, these are the acts who have drip fed the DNA of new Western Australian foursome Maverick.

With their heads in Mississippi, their feet Dixie fried in the Texas sun and their hearts in California, these guys have crafted a sharp, punchy eight track album tailor made as much for a big festival stage as for a sleazy, chicken-wire beer barn.

Opener Free is a clear statement of intent, the production (courtesy of another scene veteran, Kenny ‘Killer’ Watt) and playing shining throughout, with long-time veterans of local stages Mark De Vattimo and Simon Hallet (guitar and bass, respectively) proving that there’s no substitute for the unbeatable combination of skill plus experience.

It’s not drummer Nick Dudman’s first rodeo, either, and he locks into the groove effortlessly, making it sound easy. We all know that carrying a smouldering blues rocker like Obsession or the grinding rock of Black Voodoo (with shades of fictional band Stillwater from Cameron Crowe’s movie Almost Famous) is anything but simple, though.

It’s singer/guitarist Craig Jovanovic who’s driving the project, though, contributing lyrics to the band-formed music, and delivering them in authentic, gritty, down-home voice.

Silent Scream, for instance, couples prime-era ZZ Top boogie with ‘fuck you’ lyrics to superb effect, which the sassy riffs of road songs Great Northern Hwy and The Road bulge with ripped denim and old-metal threat, a la early, Dio-era Rainbow.

Firebird is an intoxicating ride, sounding even better when blaring from the car speakers with the windows down and the wind in your hair, and by the time you get to the southern-flecked swagger and Lemmy-alike lyrics of closing track Tonight We Die, all you’ll want to do is hit the repeat button and tread even more heavily on that gas pedal.

CD REVIEW MAVERICK – Firebird

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About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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