MAXINE PETRUCCI – Back To The Garden

Maxine Petrucci - Back to the GardenAnybody remember Madam X? Well, Madam X was one of the bands that the business believed to be the great new American glam / hard rock / metal outfit after W.A.S.P. They looked like a hybrid of W.A.S.P. and Mötley Crüe and released one album, We Reserve The Right, back in 1984. The album sold ok but didn’t exactly set the world on fire and today they are mostly remembered for future Skid Row lead singer Sebastian Bach taking over from their original lead singer Bret Kaiser – and that drummer Roxy Petrucci wound up in platinum selling all girl band Vixen later on. Yes, Madam X was a band with two boys and two chicks, the other woman being Roxy’s guitar playing sister Maxine.  At the time, the mix of two girls and two boys in a band was more or less unheard of and maybe that had something to do with Madam X’s failure. Or the fact that they weren’t any good…

However, Maxine  was seen as something of a guitar goddess that would give the guitar hero boys at the time a run for their money, but interest soon faded when it was clear that Madam X had split and there would be no second album. From 1988, when the band disbanded, and forward things were quiet in the Madam X camp with only Roxy’s Vixen to make a name for her and of course, Sebastian Bach. It took all the way to 2006 for Maxine Petrucci to get back on her feet with her debut solo album Titania, an album that never reached out to that many, and in 2009 she released Don’t Hate Me which shared the same fate as its predecessor. So, this year Maxine and her band, which are Maxine herself on lead guitar and lead vocals, Rachel May on guitar, Pat De Leon on drums and bass player Bryan Paxton, releases her third solo effort. Just like her other two albums, this one doesn’t sound like Madam X at all – there is no glam or sleaze on this album whatsoever. That Maxine has a progressive vein in her is nothing new to us who has heard her solo albums, but this time she has put some effort into the song writing which makes for a more easy listening album, not that it’s radio friendly or anything like that.

The album starts with “WTF”, a pretty cool spaced out progressive metal track and the same can be said about the title track, a somewhat weird and trippy piece that has some similarities to Coheed & Cambria, “Out Of Whack” is prog-metal goes Zeppelin and “Wicked” is a very cool track, kind of progressive pop metal where Maxine shows off her skills on the flute. Two of the coolest songs on this album are “Pink Angels”, a ballad-like prog-metal track with big Zeppelin influences, and  “Ginger Man” which breaks the mold totally – it’s a rock ‘n’ roll track. All in all, this is a pretty good prog-metal album and maybe it’s coincidence, but I suspect that Coheed & Cambria is a band that has Maxine’s attention these days because a lot here, both in sound and melodies has a Coheed & Cambria feel on it – at least I think so! Anyway, there’s no chance in Hell that this album will stick after just one listen, it’s a bit too complicated for that, so you don’t wanna dismiss it if it doesn’t stick at once.

Jon Wilmenius (6/10)

1. Wtf
2. Back to the Garden
3. Out of Whack
4. Assassinate
5. Wicked
6. Pink Angels
7. Youth Gone By
8. Ginger Man
9. Sacred
10. Harsh My Gig

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