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
KIX ROCK YOUR FACE OFF REVIEW 2014

 

KIX - ROCK YOUR FACE OFF

LOUD AND PROUD

AUGUST 5 2014

 

 

Kix is one of those bands that almost made it big back in the eighties but never got the real breaks some of their contemporaries did, always a band that caught you with a song here and there but never a band to grip you except with the real meat of their catalogue ‘Blow My Fuse’, ‘Hot Wire’ and particularly ‘Midnight Dynamite’. Outside of the US their relative lack of touring always made them a band that the real rock fans talked of affectionately, but few others really knew enough about, not being from LA where eighties rock had its epicentre. After grunge of course the world charged for so many bands, and  ‘Show BusineSS’ in 1995 marked their last studio album and wasn’t their greatest moment.

 

Reforming in 2003 I caught them live for the first of a few times in 2008 when they played Rocklahoma. It all made real sense, and I hunted down the rest of an impressive back catalogue. In 2012 Frontiers released the fine live album/DVD ‘Live in Baltimore’ which further confirmed what a great live band they were.  Here in 2014 ‘Loud and Proud’ is about to release ‘Rock Your Face Off’…

 

‘Rock Your Face off’ is twelve tracks of pure Kix, and after such a prolonged absence they sound surprisingly hungry and very, very good indeed.

 

From the opening riff of ‘Wheels in Motion’ you get the feeling that this is the album that the Kix faithful had been hoping for. It’s pure unadorned straight to the bone hard rock and roll exemplified by the driving power of that first song.

 

The album is also remarkably consistent with the AC/DC strut of ‘You’re Gone’; the slower groove of ‘Rollin’ in Honey’, and the hard rocking ‘Can’t Stop the Show’ as well as the call to arms of the title track vying equally for your attention. It’s as good an opening salvo as any we’ve heard this year.

 

With tracks like Hard Rock ride of ‘All the Right Things’ Kix add that huge hook that further tips the balance in favour of Baltimore’s finest; ‘Dirty Girls’ again is sheer Scott-era AC/DC even with a Bon-like aside. On this album you really feel that Kix has done everyone proud, themselves, fans and lovers of pure and simple straight forwards rock and roll.

 

Of course you expect a ballad and ‘Inside Outside Inn’ is the one that delivers well enough, if not hitting the absolute heights it’s enough to get the Zippos fired up before the sleazy groove of ‘Mean Miss Adventure’ cuts you down in a trail of fire and ‘Love Me With Your Top Down’ sits on your face like the best dirty rock and roll. It’s good to see the band hasn’t lost their sense of humour over the years.

 

Sometimes the simplest is the best though and along with the title track and ‘All the Right Things’ I’d add ‘Tail on the Wag’ to my list of top picks – it’s a simple bluesy hard rock number and pure Kix! ‘Rock & Roll Showdown’ that closes the album is another hard driving rock number that seems to say we’ll be back and just as big next time.

 

Welcome back Kix, this will surely be a contender for album of the year for rockers of a certain age, and  one worthy of a listen for anyone not there to witness the band first time round. It’s raw, powerful and rocks mightily from start to finish…

 

 

by Mark Diggins

 

KIX ROCK YOUR FACE OFF REVIEW 2014