We first interviewed Danny Rexon from Crazy Lixx back in 2010, just after the release of the band’s sophomore album ‘New Religion’. A lot has happened over the intervening years and as a band only the core of Danny and Drummer Joel Cirera still remains. Back in 2010 we said that Crazy Lixx was one of the most exciting and essential bands out there if you loved your “arena sized, anthem packed 80’s hard rock” and thanks to the sheer grit, determination and undoubted talent of Rexon and Cirera we stand by that. ‘Ruff Justice’ is a helluva album by a band that will take over the world or die trying!
If you’re looing for immediate impact then try opening track ‘Wild Child’ that begins with the howl of a wolf, setting the underlying 80’s Horror and Action Movie inspiration for album number five. It’s a song with plenty of crunch and a huge chorus and sets the 80’s arena rock sound up right from the off and has you thinking of a band like Dokken tempered by the melodies of Firehouse. (Check out the video below)
‘XIII’ continues in a similar vein, but lays back a little, slowing the pace to fire up a classy mid-tempo rocker, the song like ‘Live Before I Die’ the closing track will have already been heard by some as they appear on the Friday 13th video game.
‘Walk the Wire’ sweeps in like silk, upping the AOR and adding a nice slick, smooth sheen to proceedings, it’s a great low key number inhabiting the ground between AOR and ballad-land, and in keeping with that desire Rexon has expressed to produce an album that’s (again) ‘all killers no filler’ it does just that – its a keeper.
After those three pointers the album sonically has no real left-field numbers, it’s huge choruses, giant hooks and big riffs all the way. It’s also an album that stands out for come cool guitar work courtesy of the new crew – Chrisse Olsson and Jens Lundgren. Asfar as production goes – the team of Danny Rexon and Chris Laney have produced a real winner.
‘Shot With a Needle of Love’ treads into vintage Bon Jovi territory so effectively that you’re reminded of how good that particular band used to be and how good Crazy Lixx actually are five albums in; while the slow build and atmospherics of ‘Killer’ adds that nice bit of something extra to show you how versatile this kind of music can be.
‘Hunter of the Heart’ has the swagger of the Sunset Strip pumping through its veins and more than keeps the party going with the ‘Hair Metal’ dial up to ’11’. And the quality keeps coming: ‘Snakes in Paradise’ the second single released back in March this year is the sort of song any fan of 80’s Melodic Hard Rock will love, and the fact that they can pull it off with lyrics like that makes that extra impressive!
The album closes out in style with the soaring AOR-tinged ballad ‘If It’s Love’ and its cascading solo; the drive and sheer joy of ‘Kiss of Judas’ and the melodic perfection of ‘Live Before I Die’ – the final word going to the other song from that Friday 13th video game. It’s a song that will stick like glue, maybe even a modern melodic classic, and oh so impressive when you can close an album just as strongly as you started out. Those who catch Crazy Lixx on Tour this year should be in for something special.
At the start of the review we mentioned ‘New Religion’ and if you’re a Crazy Lixx fan then ‘Ruff Justice’ is an album that sonically feels much like that 2010 benchmark, it’s confident, slick and full of passion and bund to please old fans and win new converts to the cause. There are plenty of bands these days playing this kind of music but I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of bands who do it this well.
A modern Hard Rock classic.
CRAZY LIXX is
Danny Rexon – vocals
Joél Cirera – drums
Jens Sjöholm – bass guitar
Chrisse Olsson – guitar
Jens Lundgren – guitar
TOUR DATES (more shows TBA)
April 29 Frontiers Rock Festival, Live Club, Trezzo Sull’Adda, Italy
May 19 Hard Rock Cafe , Oslo, Norway
May 27 Sala La Riviera, Madrid, Spain
Sep 3 02 Academy, Sheffield, United Kingdom