Midlands act Max Raptor hit a high point in their careers when they supported Canada’s Billy Talent. Now the British four-piece release their debut record of indie pop punk ahead of a May tour. Most people will appreciate just what Max Raptor are trying to achieve, and whilst instrumentally there’s nothing to particularly berate for being blatantly dire, Portraits is just bland.
Lyrically, there are plenty of attempts to engage listeners by sinking their knashers into deep political content and, despite the fact their adolescent waning doesn’t exactly cause teething problems, they have extremely dubious moments. Obey The Whips has the catchy punk riffs and isn’t a bad commentary on the state of party politics, making it the strongest track on the album, but preceding it is Beasts, which tries to battle social alienation but does little stimulating and more grating with Wil Ray’s voice.
Carolina continues this with annoying vocalisations reinstating the Carolina-na-na-na which only adds to the wannabe quirky atmosphere that’s been done countlessly before. Concluding the debut, The Alarm reveals that Max Raptor can strike some rich energetic chords, but unfortunately Portraits is a whiney record with over-exaggerated vocals the main culprit of irritation.
Still, despite this, there’s a good chance that the quintet will become popular within pop punk circles for the sheer melodic side of their instrumentation.