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Max Cady

Wicked Ways

(Sidearm Entertainment; US: 28 Oct 2011; UK: 28 Oct 2011)

For the riff delivery system that is Max Cady, there’s only one way to rock on the band’s third album, Wicked Ways: hot as a firecracker on the Fourth of July (and yes, that’s a clumsy Cape Fear reference). The Dallas-based foursome, led by Justin Moore, has been kicking around since the mid-oughts, with a few line-up changes, and for hard rock fans not interested in post-post-post grunge nonsense from the likes of Nickelback and Hinder, these guy fill the bill nicely, falling somewhere between ‘70s lunkhead rock (your critic says lovingly) and a leather-clad motorcycle gang. From the opening stomp of the title track to Sabbath-y centerpiece “Jimmy Swagger”, and the strutting “Bloody Fists”, there’s nothing here you haven’t blasted from your T-Bird while doing donuts in the high school parking lot, but it’s done it well. Lone demerit “Genghis Khan” not only fails to mention the titular marauder, but is saddled with a beneath-contempt chorus of “Shit is always shit”. You don’t say! Max Cady are completely unoriginal, even by the standards of the genre. Yet in a world that’s largely turned its back on this style of hard rock, the group’s commitment to The Riff is admirable.

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