The Maharajas – You Can’t Beat Youth (2017)

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The Maharajas have done the impossible: They’ve made their best album since the core line-up’s superlative H-Minor, way back in 2003. The term comeback more than aptly applies.

You Can’t Beat Youth also also returns the band to their garage-rock roots in the truest sense. Of course, the Maharajas haven’t ever completely forgotten those humble musical beginnings, but as a band they have always moved forward and progressed. Over the years, that meant dropping some of those mid-’60s sensibilities, and also changing drummers along the way.

The Maharajas’ fab new video and title-track single leads the charge on You Can’t Beat Youth (Low Impact). It features Jens Lindberg on lead vocals, guitar and organ, echoed descending, menacing chords and an eternal message of youth trumping age in most things in life. You gotta love the snoring at the beginning of this song. It’s hilarious! This infectious tune would’ve been a Top 10 hit single in an alternate, better universe.

The surf-sounding “Walk With Me” mixes things up nicely. Time is catching up again with “Too Late to Repent,” marking a sad but confident ballad from Jens. “I’m Alright,” a menacing Music Machine/Munsters-type theme song-like rocker, features a very cool and inspired freak-beat lead guitar part, with vocals from Mathias Lilja. The love-inspired “Slave” frames itself as a moody haunting ballad, with a wild feedback guitar solo performance from Mathias Lilja.

Bassist/singer Ulf Guttormsson comes up with “Dark Places,” a moment of they’re-coming-for-me paranoia featuring some very tasty organ fills from Jens Lindberg. One of the many positives has been the addition of Jens’ organ to You Can’t Beat Youth, which is new for the Maharajas. The Fuzztones-inspired “Everything O’ Clock” and the manic “How Many Times” rock out like all the best mid-’60s head-bangers did.

Mathias Lilja’s lesson of “Don’t Do It Again” features more of that same fantastic organ lead playing from Jens, in a memorable mid-tempo delight. Jens Lindberg takes the lead again on the fabulous ballad “Hurt Me Please,” and his organ really sets the haunted feel here. He also contributes another great moody ballad “Too Late to Repent,” which wouldn’t have sounded out of place on H-Minor. This is an outstanding album from Sweden’s best garage-rock band today.


Steve Elliott

Steve Elliott

Steve Elliott has written for Shindig, Twist and Shake, Garage & Beat and Ugly Things. A big fan of all things rock and roll - especially the British Invasion, garage rock, psychedelic, new wave, folk rock, surf and power pop - he was a consultant on Sundazed Music's reissue of 'The Best of Butch Engle & The Styx: No Matter What You Say' in 2000, and has also provided liner notes for Italy's Misty Lane Records. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Steve Elliott
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