Alright…You Picked It! And here it is. The one you picked was Max Webster – ‘Universal Juveniles’. The votes were as follows:
- Max Webster – 5 votes
- Vandenberg was close behind with 4 votes
- Robert Palmer – 3 votes
- TLC – 2 votes
- David Lee Roth had 2 sort of votes. They both thought it sucked ass and it would be great for me to write a bad review, but they both preferred Max.
Thanks to all for participating. The August choices will be up on Saturday!
MAX WEBSTER – ‘UNIVERSAL JUVENILES’
I obtained this record when my brother-in-law, Jimmy, let me have his collection as it was just sitting in storage. The prize of that collection was definitely all the Rush albums. This album was also in there and I will be honest with you, I had no idea who Max Webster was. Well, first it isn’t a person, it is a band name with no one named Max Webster in the band. Yeah, I had no idea.
This got me to wonder, who was in the band and so I found that out…
- Kim Mitchell – guitar and lead vocals
- Gary McCracken – Drums
- Dave Myles – Bass
The band also includes Pye Dubois, but he only helps write the lyrics and doesn’t play on stage. I think outside of Elton John having Bernie Taupin, this is a very rare thing. There was also another fun fact I learned and that was out of all 5 of the Max Webster albums, this is the only one that doesn’t have “moon” in one of the song titles. Wow!! Mind Blown!! Someone actually is tracking that fact.
The vinyl jacket came with some really cool illustrations and I love the different fonts and creativity used around the lyrics. This is a cool piece and kept my attention. Might be my favorite part of the album…no, it is.
“Check” is next and a lot more fun than the opener, but still the vocal issues. This one is a little more tolerable and I will keep it as the music is a blast and this is a good time song. “April in Toledo” is another rocking track and the chorus reminds me of Toto for some reason, but that can’t save this hot mess. It is clunky and a little all over the place. And don’t get me started on “Juveniles Don’t Stop”. Another song that musically sounds fantastic, but I can’t get past the vocals. Too bad Autotune wasn’t a thing back then. I know I am being a bit harsh, but damn!! At this point, I wish this was strictly an instrumental album.
Now it isn’t all bad, there are a few saving graces to this album and the first is “Battle Scar”. “Battle Scar” is saved by Rush playing on the song and with lead vocals being shared by the great Geddy Lee. Yes, throw in Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson and this is a top notch song. I think this might be the only reason my brother-in-law had this in his collection. It would be my only reason. Now I just want to listen to Rush, do I have to finish this album? Okay, I will finish it.
As I’ve mentioned before, the vocals are horrendous at times and that is especially true on “Chalkers”. Nothing more I need to say on that. “Drive and Desire” is another saving grace. “Drive and Desire” has vocals that aren’t so bad. He is just singing and not trying to do too much like I feel he is doing on the other tracks. The chorus has some punch and the guitar work on this one is the best on the album. The drum-fills are also the best and I am really digging this one and it gets better with each listen and that isn’t happening on the rest of the album.
The last decent song on the album is “Blue River Liquor Shine”. The song starts off with some rough lyrics, but gets better with the harmonies on the chorus and the backing vocals. I still have issues with them, but the song wins me over in the end as the whole package is where it is at. It is actually a well written song with some fancy guitar work and overall a joy.
Now we get to “What Do You Do With The Urge” and after numerous listens, I couldn’t tell you anything about this song that is how not memorable it is. And lastly, the mix of “Cry Out For Your Life” is the pits. The fade in & outs at the end sound like a two year old did the mix. It is horrid.
- In the World of Giants – Delete
- Check – Keeper (1/2 Point)
- April in Toledo – Delete
- Juveniles Don’t Stop – Delete
- Battle Scar – Keeper
- Chalkers – Delete
- Drive and Desire – Keeper
- Blue River Liquor Shine – Keeper
- What Do You Do With the Urge – Delete
- Cry Out Your Life – Delete
Track Score is only 3 1/2 out of 10 Tracks for a Score of 35%. Yeah this might be the lowest track score I’ve given in quite awhile. I hope my Canadian readers don’t get offended, but I am not sure what they see in Max Webster. Maybe this isn’t the album to start with, but there was nothing to enjoy other than some fine guitar playing that gets overshadowed by the horrendous vocals and production. This is not one I will listen to again for any reason other than maybe the Geddy Lee/Rush track, I mean, come on, Geddy Lee and Rush. For all I have said above, this gets a 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars which I think is generous. Sorry, not my cup of tea. Again, Instrumental album…4.0 Stars easily. With vocals…uh…no!