Max Webster – Max Webster (1976)

MaxWebster_MaxWebster4 out of 5 Stars!

I adored this fun-loving band from Canada, mainly due to its musical uniqueness and its sometimes-silly image.

In many respects, Max Webster was a straightforward Hard Rock act, but with highly imaginative musicians in its midst, giving the band an Art Rock flair.

One moment a track would be rolling along “normally,” until ace-guitarist Kim Mitchell tossed in a weird riff or guitar tone, or his vocals would take on a manic quality, or some amusing lyrics would appear to tickle the brain. Look no further than the tracks “Hangover,” “Blowing The Blues Away,” and “Summer’s Out” for some fine examples of these traits.

Whereas at other times, just when all seemed “normal” again, keyboardist Terry Watkinson would add strange synth leads or eerie and colorful background washes or creative chord changes to the mix (“Here Among The Cats” or “Summer Turning Blue”), or the rhythm section would plop in some off-time beats or frantic fills (“Coming Off The Moon” or “Only Your Nose Knows”), or the band (in general) would unexpectedly venture into full-on Progressive Rock territory (“Lily”) to turn songs completely upside down.

And sometimes, just plain wackiness ensues, as on the truly crazy track “Toronto Tontos.”

Therefore, because of these “never knowing what to expect” characteristics, Max Webster seemed almost a precursor to groups such as It Bites…a band offering undeniably catchy, mature, and professional music, yet also quite a bit off-the-wall.

And I loved every minute of it!


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