Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Max Webster - Hangover [DEBUT] - Mercury Records - `76

OK : as promised , here is the max webster debut ~ next up , "universal juveniles" with battle scar on it ! then i might do kim mitchells solo with go for a soda on it ;
these guy are pretty bizarre , so hang on - fans of prog & quirky /zanny / smart music in general will digg this. all i know is kim mitchell can play his ass off , as can rest of band [ their own asses respectively ! ]
ha -- enjoy

Line-up / Musicians

Paul Kersey - drums
Mike Tilka - bass
Kim Mitchell - guitars and vocals
Terry Watkinson - keyboards and vocals

Debut album from one of the most original groups coming from Canada, and certainly a bloody stunner that stayed in the subconscious of almost every teenager from Toronto, but of all Canada as well. This writer remembers being a fan as far back as possible, buying the debut album and playing it until the vinyl became almost transparent. These guys were all very exciting on stage with their energetic music, stage antics (leader Mitchell being a very athletic young man) and their imaginative and original songwriting. They even managed to get the girls started with their glitter outfits. Webster (these guys were looking for a name like Jethro Tull - this is the only real explanation about their name) was always the thing of two songwriters even though guitarist Mitchell was much more prolific than keyboardist Watkinson, but Mitchell's tracks were always written with Pye Dubois' lyrics (Rush fans will remember him) and the group found a home on Anthem Records, which is also well known to us progheads.
How could any teen getting drunk and ignore the opening Hangover track (to which the weird square heads refer to on the artwork). This track, starting out on a heavily distorted and feedback guitar is a stunning start and a fitting intro into the crazy world of Max Webster. To describe their sound is rather uneasy as they could range from early Queen, have 10 CC's best inspirational moments, with quirky songwriting The Cars would not have denied. Not very progressive you might say, but please bear with me for Webster is always changing tempo, sometimes cramming so many idea into one track that others groups would make a whole album out one of their songs. Their constant rhythm changes were quite impressive, almost (certainly IMHO) progressive but the typical chord progressions of what made classic prog bands their trade is a bit absent in their albums. Hangover is then followed by another killer track Here Among The Cats, another live favorite and also a fave of mine (since back then all young dudes were the cats). Next is a rather different-sounding (because written by KB-man Watkinson) followed a typical slow Webster track - there will be a few in the following albums, but they were quite at ease with those too, even if their forte were full-blown rock party tracks. The first wax side is ended by another stunner (and maybe the definitive pop side of Webster) with the stunning Toronto Tontos, which came some seven years before The B-52's Rock Lobster. A stunning témoignage that these guys were also ahead of their time, this track is truly a joyful moments of musical delirium.
The second side starts with one of the obsessions from the quartet, their lunatic bizarrerie, as if they were coming of our natural satellite planet, the Moon: for the next four albums, there will always be a track making reference to it, maybe explaining how lunatically strange these guys could be. This is another highlight of the album but hardly the only one, since most of the first side of the album are classics. Only Your Nose Knows and the lengthy (almost 8 min) Lily are also excellent and typical tracks while Summer's Up has a bit of Zappa feeling in it.
Maybe this group is not a prog icon per se, but all progheads loving intelligent rock and pop should get a load of this superb band that never got the recognition it deserved until it was dying. [ sean trane ]

more reviews here - www.progarchives.com

Max Webster - Hangover
Studio Album, released in 1976
All Trax From WAX - akashaman - 2010
MP3 @ 320 kbps includes high rez scans ; front / back / lyrix / kim !

Songs / Tracks Listing :

1 - Hangover (4:36)
2 - Here among The Cats (3:07)
3 - Blowing the Blues Away (3:33)
4 - Summer turning Blue (3:05)
5 - Toronto Tontos (3:40)
6 - Coming Off The Moon (3:38)
7 - Only Your Nose Knows (4.16)
8 - Summer's Up (2:45)
9 - Lily (7:42)



peterjpintodesa@aol.com said...

Thanks, Akashaman. Much appreciated! I love these guys!

Anonymous said...

Nice Posting
One of my favourite bands when I was in my late teens. Best memory of them, was in 1978, they played a 4 night stint at a club in London Ontario. My buddies and I saw them two of those nights, including sitting at a table right by the stage.
Kim Mitchell is simply an incredible performer.
Having gone solo he still plays throughout the country and he is the afternoon DJ on a local Classic Rock station q107.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Max Webster LP. I'm still DLing it so I've not heard it. I hadn't heard of Max Webster or Kim Mitchell until I moved to Canada. Since then, I've met Kim and had him sign a guitar. Neat!

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for this amazing record. Had never heard of it, quite a revelation!

Awesome blog, many thanks.

Anonymous said...

'Higher than the Eiffel Tower'...Thank you.

Greg said...

Thank you~!~!

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