DataReleased May 2012
N of discs 1
Edition date May 2012
Label Cherry Lips Records
Max Navarro is an Italian vocalist that was born in Vancouver. Later, he relocated to Italy and in 2005, he started his career along with the guitarist & producer Nick Mayer. “Hard Times” is his new, third full-length, work.
At first spins I got the feeling this album could be the soundtrack for the summer. Because of the audio mixing it has a typical easy listening Italo-rock vibe with a lot of acoustic guitars and strong vocal melodies. Think an Italian sounding Dire Straits vs Tom Petty.
But I should have known better with an album called "Hard Times". As the title hints, the songs on this release are not about sunshine and happiness. Max' own words say enough about the song meanings: “I wanted an album of pure rock, made brick by brick by the anger for all the crap we see every day. It's the anger of youngsters without future, of family men who lost their jobs and of all those people who feel taken the piss by a ruling class who thinks only at the interests of lobbyists. That’s why this album is dedicated to all the victims of this dirty, sick and cannibal society”.
The album has nine tracks and runs a little over thirty-two minutes. "Hard Times" became a solid rock album with several tracks that could be great hits on every rock oriented radio station. Highlights are the opener "You Can Rely On", the first single "Cryin’", the rocker "Poison Girl" and the uptempo “Nothing’s Guaranteed”. Songs as the ballad “The Wrong Side” and straight forward speedy rocker "Out of Bounds" featuring Steve Palmano on guitar are also worth to mention.
“Hard Times” is an album that has variety, lyrics which are very realistic in daily life and strong melodies in a poppy rock style. I really enjoyed listening to this album. If you like the mentioned elements I am sure you will like this effort too...
Reviewer: Marc "LazyRocker" Schneiders