Maxine – Titania

In 1984, Maxine Petrucci and her sister Roxy released an album on JET/CBS Records under the name of Madam X (who you can now see on Metal Mania on VH1 Classic).  We Reserve The Right included the anthems High In High School and Come One Come All.  Over the next several years the band would undergo changes that included hiring Canadian vocalist Sebastian Bach.  Maxine then seemingly disappeared from the music scene while sister Roxy went on to form Vixen.  Maxine Petrucci returns to the hard rock / metal seen after a long absence with Titania.

Maxine has recruited Billy Sheehan and Roxy to play on Titania.  From the opening title track, I was immediately impressed with the heaviness and melodic qualities of all the songs.  Maxine possesses an impressive voice and her guitar playing is still very heavy and aggressive.  Lyrically, Maxine injects a good deal of a venom into her words and her singing style works well with the material.  The songs have enough of a modern bite (in a good way) that they do not sound like badly dated tracks.

Lead track Titania is very heavy, dark and erotic all at the same time with sleaze metal lyrics.  Squeeked opens with total shred and a relentless drum line that calls to mind the likes of early Accept and early Van Halen.  Love Test has a bit of a slower grinding groove to it that it becomes instantly infectious.  Kiss On This is full of attitude and furious guitars galore as is Passion.  Pathetic snarls both vocally and lyrically.

Songs like Hard For You remind me how good sleaze metal can be when written and recorded properly.  Maxine has a certain knack for the sexy sleazy songs.  Perhaps it is hearing songs as such from the from the female perspective makes them even more intriguing.  This is not fluff like say Naughty Naughty or Cherry Pie.

Closing track Max Attacks in pure instrumental excess that is well-deserved after delivering such a stellar overall album.

Had Titania been released in say 1988, it would have done huge business or would have been too hot for the labels to touch.  There are very, very few female fronted metal bands who have come close to Maxine it terms of heaviness and guitar heroics.  A surprising sleeper release from out of nowhere in 2005 that will definitely rank in our top 10 for the year.  Hopefully there are some more licks still left up Maxine’s sleeves.