After its original release date of October 16th was moved back (along with their planned tour), we finally got a chance to wrap our ears around the bluesy loveliness of Maverick before its release on November 6th. What do the Brothers Nimmo have for us, along with new(ish) bassist Zander Greenshields, and stalwarts Jonny Dyke and Andrew Scott?
Essentially, “more of the same” for fans of the band – and this is no bad thing. Front man Alan gets his throaty vocals front and centre right from the beginning of “Never Give In”, backed by his brother on guitar and the warm organ tones of Dyke lending depth. This is a song that hits you right in the feels from the get-go. It’s deep, it’s soulful and it’s wonderful in its simplicity. The tempo kicks up at the end so that it finishes on a rocking high, all drum fills and coordinated guitar chords.
“Fire In My Soul” could pass for a Thunder track – no bad thing – and had my toe tapping before the chorus had even begin to think of making an appearance. And this is King King’s strength. Keep it simple, make it catchy, roll with it. They’ve been doing it for years and it’s a winning formula. It’s why I like them so much. I am not a huge fan of their genre of music, but they do something with it that few others can, to the point where I always try to catch their live show.
Slower, soulful songs are covered as well. So if you have someone to snuggle or sway with then you’ll enjoy “Whatever It Takes To Survive”, an absolutely beautiful song. “By Your Side” backs it up and enters power ballad territory. On the other hand, “I Will Not Fall” yearns to be a disco track. It’s that rhythm. Seriously, you could dress up in a pimp suit and strut down the street to this.
“Everything Will Be Alright” makes you believe that it will be with its positive message and jaunty, uplifting tone – something that seems to be a theme throughout the album (just look at some of the other titles). If there’s a song to reverse this, it’s the sad tones of “When My Winter Comes”. But, hey, you have to take people down so you can lift them right back out again – which the band do with “Dance Together”, an absolute winner featuring a great bass line.
“End of the Line” is an apt title for a closing song, and has some definite country influences. Thing is, it’s not the end. Because you’ll only want to play the album over again. And again.
Alan Nimmo admits he took some chances on this album, hence the title Maverick. Those chances have paid off – hugely. Maverick is an absolute pearl, a classic blues rock album and the kind of release that other acts are going to have to try to match.
Maverick is out on November 6th