Max Lynx – “Take One” (1983)

I picked this album out of the Miscellaneous M section at Quimper Sounds Records because of the cover, which is both simple and cool while screaming 80s metal. I wasn’t able to find out much about these guys online, both due to their obscurity and, oddly enough, because apparently there’s a Canadian lynx named Max Lynx that has an online presence, and this actual lynx has a much larger profile than this 1980s era band out of California. I found a couple of mentions indicating that members of Max Lynx later joined Attak and Subliminal Criminal, but that’s about it.

Max Lynx’s sound is more on the hard rock side of metal – it doesn’t feel like what was emerging as the sleaze and hair scene and it’s way to slow to align with thrash. There might be elements of NWOBHM here, but what I’m really feeling is like a harder and faster version of Deep Purple and Ted Nugent (especially the guitars on “Running With The Wild”). Vocalist Jerry Lee Cross certainly throws out the metal high notes from time to time, but mostly it’s rock ‘n’ roll with the occasional guitar flourish. The standard lyrical themes are here as well – the power of rock (“Metal Never Dies”), war (“War of the Morning”), and how cool it is to be a musician (“Glory Seekers”), plus we also get an element of fantasy in “Dragons and Warriors”, though in this case the dragon is a metaphor for rocking (It starts with guitar in hand / And in back is a thunder man / Dragon’s a metal warrior). There’s also a tribute to guitarist Randy Rhoads, who died in 1982, called “Rainbow Rider”.

Overall Take One is a decent record, though my ears didn’t pick up on any standout tracks. “War of the Morning” is probably Max Lynx at their hardest, and it’s a pretty solid jam.

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