In the early 2010s, it really felt like Max Raptor could’ve been the next big thing. It was as though everyone was with them on their mini-album Portraits, but they kind of fell away, releasing their debut full-length Mother’s Ruin on the sly without the critical spaffing its predecessor received. They clearly haven’t let their fire become extinguished though, with Damage Appreciation seeing them fall firmly back on track.

The four tracks on this EP see Max Raptor once again playing to their strengths – the most rousing melodic punk going bolstered with touches of the finest British post-hardcore – but with a slight twist. This time, whatever little flash had previously been present has been stripped away, leaving behind four tracks of pure, raucous punk ‘n’ roll. The title track is the best example of this – biting, staccato riffs reminiscent of latter-day Jamie T jostle with Wil Ray’s quintessentially British bark for a song that is guaranteed to spark stage-diving aplenty live.

It’s certainly a high point, but the rest of the EP isn’t without its thrills either. The band have managed to pack punk’s incendiary spirit into a sound that’s hugely accessible, and it resonates all the way through. Population comes across as sounding like The Exploited with Hundred Reasons on instrumental duties, while See Me Through throws a bit more angular discordance into the mix, and Blue On Red is just an absolute ripper.

The whole package is incredibly slight clocking in at just under fifteen minutes long, but that only adds to the spontaneity of it all. It’s this that means Damage Appreciation bucks the trend in what’s popular in British rock at the minute, but it’s all the better for it. Because, for a band that everyone had seemingly lost faith in to return with a pocket rocket like this just shows how much of a hidden treasure Max Raptor are.

8/10

For fans of: Billy Talent, Hildamay, Marmozets
Words by Luke Nuttall

‘Damage Appreciation’ by Max Raptor is out now on Hassle Records.

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