Opener ‘Soul Surrender’ has an extremely catchy intro, sounding like an old western movie with only whistling and a guitar to begin with before the beat kicks in and it captures you with its energy, before you know it has your head nodding along.
Album standout ‘Afraid of Love’ begins with a guitar the intro that reminds you of an early Arctic Monkeys, as the track goes on it loses that resemblance but is a great upbeat, exciting number that maintains its catchiness from start to finish – you won’t getting off the dancefloor to this one.
‘A Life Worth Living’ has yet another catchy intro, however it soon settles into a more calm affair that allow Max’s intriguing lyrics to hit the spotlight.
You can imagine ‘Ode to a Teenage Heartthrob’ being played in a movie, a very sweet and catchy piece that offers everything from great lyrics to fantastic musicianship.
‘Let Em Have It Sunshine’ shines a ska light on the Fanatics and gets you wanting to dance around; its brass tones make this one stand out a something a bit different compared to the rest the album.
The down to earth ‘Glasgow’ gives you that feeling of home that puts a smile on your face, this is one for the hometown crowd, if these guys make it big expect this to be crowd favourite.
The chilled and mellow ‘Book Review’ is a fantastic way to end the album, it’s beautifully put together, you could listen to this for hours on end and not get bored.
Saint Max is Missing and the Fanatics are Dead is easily one of the best debut records to have come out of Scotland recently, considering it is a debut album it would be understandable if there were a few weak links, however with this doesn’t seem to apply.
A truly amazing piece of work that the band should be extremely proud of, they were able to turn clear influences into their own sound, which isn’t easy these days.
An almost perfect debut, you get the feeling that album number two won’t be as easy but with Max’s charisma oozing stage presence is sure to see these guys go far.
Words: Kirsty Shewan