Saint Max And The Fanatics
Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead
If your debut album is going to wear its influences on its sleeve, make sure those influences are good ones and that the sleeve is worn with swaggering style. Impressively talented teenager Max Syed-Tollan seems to be operating an open-door policy when it comes to songwriting. Soul Surrender opens this affair with a Morricone spaghetti-western whistle that inevitably kicks up the desert dust in Woodenbox's wake even as it hits its soul-as-punk stride and throws a nod and a wink in Paul Weller's direction. Elsewhere, though, young Max has a tendency to launch his voice into the clouds of upper register a la Morrissey, let his small brass section set a ska groove, and bring a sly local reference to something that could be a fantasy collaboration between Buddy Holly and The Libertines ("I shall go to Heaven/And you shall go to Glasgow"). If Dexys, The Beat, Elvis Costello and The Clash make a fitting playlist for you, then they're all here in one easy download.