We’ve featured a couple of videos from this band (and album) in recent weeks, so when I got word through that Maximum Splendid had been released it was one I just had to check out. It’s posh rock and roll, for those who raise their pinkies as well as their fists. The only band I can think of who tick the same boxes (though with better wigs) are The Upper Crust.
Musically this is straight up the middle, no holds barred, catchy, singalong, classic hard rock (and roll). In terms of attitude, it’s far more polite and gentlemanly than that ruffian American version. For instance, there’s no assumption that the singer is going to “get jiggy” (or whatever the transcontinental nomenclature is these day) with the object of his desires in “Call On You”. Instead he asks permission to pop around for a cup of tea and a slice of Battenberg. And not a double entendre in sight. Almost.
For those who appreciate a Lovecraftian love-tale, “Cthullette” should have you weeping into your lace hanky. Even the Great Old Ones and other cosmic entities need a cuddle now and again.
While Maximum Splendid is a one-man production (at least, so I gather from the information to hand), the vocal talents of one Professor Elemental are drafted in for a couple of songs. He rattles off some Queen’s English rap(scallion) during “Cup of Brown Joy”, one of the highlights of a very good album – a quality fusion about quality fusions. “When I say ‘Earl Grey’, you say ‘yes, please’,” indeed.
He also adds his voice to the epic “Night of the Giant Killer Crabs”, and “Glamour Horse” which focuses very much on the “glam” in its name.
This may be a “rock” album, but Moog Gravett (the man behind Rapscallion) has pulled in a lot of influences and covered a lot of styles. There are hints of The Beatles here, Guns n’ Roses there… Maximum Splendid is just the right kind of silly in terms of its lyrics, but the music is absolutely bang on and very well written/performed. Don’t let the humorous aspect mislead you, this is as good a rock album as you could expect from a more straight-laced act. Just funnier.
Maximum Splendid is out now