The L.A. Maybe are from the Carolinas in the USA who display a love of late 70s and mainly 1980s rock music. Hard rock, glam, sleaze and a smidgeon of Southern rock, they do it all. They make good time music in the main. The singer Alvi Robinson possesses a voice that can holler, wail and rock.
No wonder on hearing this album that he was one of 4, yes four people who were auditioned for the AC/DC gig after Brian Johnson was let go due to health issues. The band admit their love of both the aforementioned and Guns ‘n’ Roses and it can be heard. However, as I have said they take from a good number of sources. They are a 6-piece with vocalist, 2 guitarists, one being original member Dallas Dwight and another who’s name appears to be Darrell(?), drummer Foz, bassist (unknown at this point) and keyboardist Josh. The band recorded their debut last year. They went into the studio and recorded the 10 tracks and around 40 minutes that comprises “Dirty Damn Tricks“.
The Songs Reviewed
Opener “Mr. Danger” comes out the gate all AC/DC until the choruses where they go more AOR/glam rock with a strong melodious singalong. The solo is almost Angus-like with the rhythm section pounding and grooving away.
“Sucker Punch” has again a fast AC/DC opening with some fine drum fills to keep it more interesting. It once again turns into a more glammy classic hard rock sound, especially in the choruses. There is even a touch of the blues when it is stripped down which comes through even more on “Oh Sugar” which also heads into something akin to Buckcherry territory with a ridiculously pop-inspired chorus. It is the sort of thing that even if you are curmudgeonly you are likely to sing along even if you hate yourself for it! The solo is quite tasteful and is one of the longest on the album (I think). It is a foot-tapper that has a fine groove on the verses.
“She’s Reckless” has a funky groove and is a mix of Guns ‘n’ Roses and Faster Pussycat in style and sound. Here Alvi becomes more gritty in his style apart from the chorus. They speed up quite a bit at the end, a bit more punky and thrashy probably just for fun. After this track, they slow things down for a bit. Firstly on “Piece Of Mind” where you really start to hear the keys properly. This is the first of 2 songs that are more Southern rock, a mix of late-era Cinderella meeting Black Crowes at points. I do like the section where it is just keys and vocals showing some restraint, it really works nicely before heavying up before the end.
“When I’m Gone” is full-on a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute. At points you can hear the melody of “Tuesday’s Gone“; well if you are going to steal something make it something classy. Again the keys are more prominent and the chorus is bloody marvelous even if the tune is rather familiar. This is the longest track which allows more soloing and the drop-down to keys and plaintiff vocals is delightful. Mind I am a sucker for a good ballad and this is very good.
From this point onwards it is back to rocking starting with “Take Me Away” which is funky, think “Pornograffitti” era Extreme and it is made for dancing. I can imagine a full floor at any rock metal disco from the 80s and early 90s. “Sweet” made me think of Jizzy Pearl vocally and even Love/Hate musically especially at the chorus. Around that, there are of course plenty crunching AC/DC guitar riffs to keep it all moving. They even throw in a gospel-type choir in the background three-quarters of the way through. Well, why not?
“Fake” has a fast chugging riff which made me think at the start of early Deep Purple before heading into a Motley Crue-type rocker. Lyrically I think this is a sarcastic look at bad management and shite contracts. The amount of fakery going on in what is left of the industry is well and truly slagged off.
Finally, “Up Next To You” rounds things off with boogie-woogie rock and roll with some funk and a gospel vibe vocally when the band repeats back the lyrics around the chorus. The delivery of the words repeated made me think of “Chop Suey“, you know the “you wanted to” sections by System Of A Down.
Final Thoughts: Old School Rock
This is an excellent debut album from The L.A. Maybe. It isn’t truly original but that isn’t the point. The band want to get folks up dancing, drinking and partying. They want to “rawk!” and they want the listener to join in. Anyone who likes classic 80s rock/metal with some Southern and blues for extra variety will bloody love this. It sounds fresh, energetic and a load of fun. In fact a shed load of fun. If they can deliver this live with the energy on the record then the gigs should be a hoot. I know I want to see them preferably in a small intimate rock venue where they are in our faces. Sweaty dirty rock and roll, I like it!
Album out on Independent NOW
Purchase via Band Website HERE
Check out my other reviews and articles HERE. Tom