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
New Religion

I’ll make no bones about it I am a big fan of Crazy Lixx. Loved the EP, loved the first CD and have been hanging out on this release ever since I interviewed Danny a couple of months ago. So the big question is where do you go from a classic debut that recalled the best of early Skid Row? Where the hell you like really, I guess!

 

This second full length album takes the best of the first album and then adds new layers. It's not as rough around the edges and not quite as driving and relentless but it shows a vast amount of ability and versatility. There is not a sign in sight of the ‘difficult second album’ scenario. You get the feeling that for Crazy Lixx the sky is now the limit.

 

The most amazing thing about this release for me, after the first few listens was the sheer scope of the sound. You hear myriad influences throughout the album ranging through most of the greats of the 80’s like Def Leppard, Skid Row, (good) Bon Jovi, even bands like Hardline and Danger Danger. The difference is that where some bands sound like a pastiche of those classic sounds Crazy Lixx has put out an album that captures the essence whilst managing to sound like, well, Crazy Lixx.

 

The opening few tunes really do perhaps wear their influences more than the rest. ‘Rock in a Hard Place’ is a great song like if Skid Row had gone for melody rather than metal on that second release. Another song you may have heard snippets of from the site ‘My Medicine’ starts off very like Poison’s ‘Unskinny Bop’ then reaches out to channel Def Leppard at their very finest. To be honest it’s a better than either of those bands has put out in the last 10 years. It’s here you also realise how much work Crazy Lixx have put into the backing vocals and also how much Chris Laney the producer has helped develop the sound here.

 

‘21 Till I Die’ which follows is one of my favourite tracks, the melody has really taken over, and this really does remind you of a young, still fun and vital Bon Jovi in their absolute prime, again the backing vocals are great and the song is one of the most instantly singable on the album. The execution is consummate and production is amazing, these guys are a band to be reckoned with.

 

There are pretty much no low lights here ‘Blame it on Love’ - could be by anyone from Journey to one of those lost classic lost AOR bands of the late eighties. In a 12 month period when there have been a plethora of great melodic rock releases this is certainly up there with the best and should set many a young girl’s heart a flutter. It is however a bit ‘lighter’ than we are used to but again just goes to show the new found versatility, not to mention confidence the band now must have.

 

‘Road to Babylon’ all melody overdrive, but with a harder edge, impresses; whilst if I did have to pick a low point it would probably be the tender ‘Children of the Cross’ which is as close as we get to being just a good song.

 

‘The Witching Hour’ puts the guitars back to the fore and recalls the heavier sound of the first album: it’s a definite harder edged big, big ballsy song that packs a great punch. The gang vocals also set it off nicely. ‘Lock up Your Daughter’ that follows is also a solid rocker that puts me in mind of one of my favourite bands Hardline.

 

One of the biggest surprises though for me was the next song ‘She's Mine’ which I really did not like first listen but now I can’t stop playing the thing and it’s probably one of the big highlights for me. But it is so, so different to what you might expect. Coming across all Bryan Adams for a few seconds it then hits what seems like Rick Springfield territory before rolling off one of the catchiest, Summeriest (is that a word?) choruses I’ve heard since Warrant’s Cherry Pie was young. I’ll be singing ‘Everyone wants a piece of my Candy' in my sleep tonight. It’s a helluva departure: a real mid-80’s AOR sing-along gem! Love the breakdown too!

 

‘What of Our Love; is a beautiful soaring ballad that really showcases Danny’s vocals, as ballads go it’s up there with the best the second-coming of Aerosmith managed. A beautifully executed song with soaring vocals the way it should be.

 

The closers ‘Desert Bloom’ all steel guitar, and really just and intro to the final song ‘Voodoo Woman’ are a great way to leave us. Bluesy harder edged and again tempered by the ever present huge backing vocals.

 

As far as song writing is concerned this album is a real force of nature. The band sound exceptional and I just hope that one day I get to see the guys kick it live.

 

I like it. I really like it…Beat that for album of the year!

 

Mark