The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

CRAZY LIXX

RIOT AVENUE

 

 

 

 

FRONTIERS RECORDS

Release dates: EU: April 20th 2012 | NA: April 24th 2012

 



Tracklisting: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; Young Blood; Riot Avenue; Fire It Up; Downtown; In The Night; ChurchOf Rock; Heatseeker; Sweet, Bad & Beautiful; Be Gone; Only The Dead Know.

 

 

Some bands just have it; and back in the day would have stood head and shoulders with the best of them. Crazy Lixx is one of those select few - a band that has captured what made late eighties rock sound so great, but on this, their third release they have managed to stamp it with their own distinctive sound.

 

 


Now for those who loved previous releases that sounds like a big call, and I know it is. There’s just something about this album though that makes you feel the band has stopped trying to replicate the best of the bunch of late eighties rock and are now content to make great music of their own. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a huge stylistic revolution – it’s a band that you realise that you are now looking at in their own light rather than saying “hey that’s a cool song sounds like Skid Row, Bon Jovi or whoever”…

 

 


I’ll take a breath…

 

 


Sadly I guess Crazy Lixx has gone through some line-up changes of late: we’ve lost a few members and so I can only presume that it’s a pretty unusual position to be in – just about to release a great new album and having to do it with new members. All we can do is wish all the parties good luck.

 

 


To get straight to the album: opening track ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ takes over where we last left off, powerfully catchy, big vocals, big chorus all present and correct!

 

 


From thereon in you just enjoy the ride and buckle in. Both ‘Young Blood’ and ‘Riot Avenue’ are as strong as anything on ‘New Religion’ so any doubts you may have had will get dispelled pretty early.  This is Crazy Lixx at what sounds like their most comfortable, sure there’s still that essence of debut album Skid Row lingering but it’s not pastiche, and yes there’s also eau-de-Leppard too but again it’s not overwhelming. This is just good honest melodic hard rock made by a band that does it particularly well.   

 

 


I must admit that it’s probably these opening salvos that ease you in before the real meat: I love the immediacy of ‘Fire It Up’ and ‘Downtown’ gets rather down and dirty: all gang vocals and pounding bass with Danny’s ‘There’s a party downtown and your Sister’s invited’ lyric beating down the doors of resistance before ‘In The Night’ (Check it out it’s playing on their website) smashes you to the floor.  It’s probably not my choice for a lead single but is very representative of the sound of the album as a whole.

 

 


‘Heatseaker’ takes us into a little heavier waters, again driven by a pounding bass, we get a little more raw meat with the melody and whilst the song is deceptively simply constructed after a few listens you feel it soar, it’s a real grower that one!

 

 


‘Sweet Bad and Beautiful’ I must admit does have that Poison meets Winger swagger, but again it’s only a taste and couple that with the anthemic wherewithal of Def Leppard you have all the ingredients required to hit the spot.

 

 


‘Be Gone’ one of the last tracks here is a nice little taste of attitude, lyrics spat out by Danny across a great immediate riff it’s one of my initial favourites here.

 

 


We close with ‘Only the Dead Know’ which means we go out with an epic rather than a rocker and to be honest that’s about the only criticism I could level – maybe a change of pace mid album rather than slow it down at the end? So if nit-picking the track-listing is the best I can manage you can tell this was a good ride! It’s a great showcase for Danny’s vocals and Andy’s guitar and does take you back to the day when every album worth its salt from Whitesnake down had its own six minute epic. Nice…

 

 


So is ‘Riot Avenue’ better than the amazing ‘Loud Minority’ or the even better ‘New Religion’? Let’s just say that it doesn’t disappoint and leave it at that…

 

 


Crazy Lixx rules… surely early contender for album of the year.

 

 

 

By Mark Diggins