Toronto's Max Webster blended metal, prog, and rock elements into a genre-defying blend that won the group a cult following in the mid- to late '70s. Formed in 1973, the band's sound focused on the contrast between vocalist/guitarist Kim Mitchell's aggressive attack and vocalist/keyboardist Terry Watkinson's more melodic approach, with drummer Gary McCracken and bassist Mike Tilka providing a propulsive backdrop. Additional lyricist Pye Dubois was considered the band's fifth member, adding extra theatrical flourishes to Max Webster's concerts.
by Heather Phares
Max Webster was an unusual beast as bands go. They seemed to try for a sound that bordered on anthemic arena rock and progressive rock. However, the textures of the music made it feel like they just barely missed. The group had a sound that was quite quirky and off-kilter, while still trying for those more accessible rock sounds. This disc, their debut, certainly shows off all of those textures.
The material ranges from hard-edged straightforward metal to rock ballads and fun, almost punky, territory. The final track on the album, "Lily," is an extended progressive rock jam that is the strongest piece on the disc. That cut seems to embody sounds of such groups as Yes and Rush, but still with a touch of Max Webster's weirdness. If you are looking for an intriguing take on the arena rock/prog territory, give these guys a chance, but remember that their sound is definitely on the quirky side.
by Gary Hill
1. Hangover - 4:36
2. Here Among The Cats - 3:07
3. Blowing The Blues Away (Terry Watkinson) - 3:33
4. Summer Turning Blue - 3:05
5. Toronto Tontos - 3:40
6. Coming Off The Moon - 3:38
7. Only Your Nose Knows - 4:16
8. Summer's Up - 2:45
9. Lily (Kim Mitchell) - 7:42
All songs by Kim Mitchell, Pye Dubois except where indicated
*Kim Mitchell - Guitars, Lead Vocals
*Paul Kersey - Drums, Percussion
*Mike Tilka - Bass, Vocals
*Terry Watkinson - Keyboards, Vocals
*Pye Dubois - Lyrics