Max Havoc - Are You Morbid? - A Heavy Metal Podcast

I knew I was going to like this album before I ever played it. A cheesy enough album cover to me instantly elevates an album to at least “pretty good” status, and this one, which I assume was done by Frank Frazetta’s less talented second cousin, does not disappoint in that department. Mostly naked buff dudes? Check. Massive Hair? Check. Swords? Check. Volcano? Check. Thunderstorm? Big check. I’m fucking in.

10 seconds into track one and this dude is making the boldest claim I’ve ever heard on a record. He is Rock n Roll. The fucking balls on this guy. I’ve heard people fighting for the rock, being warriors for the rock, even kings of rock, but this dude, He fucking literally IS the living embodiment of Rock n Roll. Here it is people, our avatar of rock n roll, a band that is described in pretty much every review as “forgettable” within in the first line. You’ll notice I waited till line 11 or something, which I feel is far more fair, and it’s really not an  accurate description anyway if you ask me, I mean is this a lost classic? No not really, but I don’t think that automatically means they deserve to be written off or treated like a joke. This is a collection of by the books party metal, with some sorcery elements thrown in. But the material is elevated by Pat McKeon’s respectable set of pipes and the overwhelming sense of sincerity behind his vocals. If you snuck any of these tracks onto any given early 80s comp with some Saxon and Van Halen, no one would say shit about it. I mean yeah whatever it didn’t sell when it came out, but what have you done, dude that made a blogspot post about it in 2009?

The one thing I will agree with random blogspot dude and All Music guy on is that the lineup is the most interesting part of this band. They were actually co-founded by Bill Ward during a medical leave from Black Sabbath. He’s still credited as an associate producer on the album though none of his drum work makes it to the album.

The band then became sort of like the band London, in the sense that they were sort of the last stop before fame for a lot of guys. London is that band that burned the Russian flag in Decline of Western Civilization Part II. Robbin Crosby (Ratt) Phil Vokins (Wrathchild, Persian Risk), David Alford (Rough Cutt), Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), Tony Richards (W.A.S.P.) and all were in the band at some point. The lineup continued to rotate and the band even had another demo before calling it quits in 1987. It’s sort of a shame they never had another chance but their sound is so specific to the first half of the 80s that it’s no wonder their fate was destined to be one of obscurity. The world had moved on.

But don’t let those glam ties fool you, like i said this is real early 80s “dad” metal at its finest. Well maybe not finest, but dad metal in a nice pair of jeans at least. I saw some comparisons to Dio era Sabbath and that’s fair, if a little too generous. I’d say it’s closer to a UFO with some robert plant aping that would be popular with Great White and Kingdom Come in years to come, except one song, where McKeon is doing his best Ozzy impersonation. This probably isn’t going to be your new favorite album but it’s worthy of a couple more adjectives besides “forgettable.” It’s a solid record. Throw it in on during a road trip, preferably in a van, zone out a little and enjoy.