earMUSIC/Loud & Proud [Released 18.08.14]
At last, a band whose main success was in the late ‘80’s has made a new album that sounds like it was actually recorded in 1991 and not “we’ve grown/we’ve updated our sound/ we were moved by grunge/it’s what the fans would want*” (* delete where applicable).
Sure Kix’s new “Rock Your Face Off” album contains some modern elements but this is down to recording and production techniques and not selling out.
Originally active from 1977, the band found platinum selling popularity in the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s before going on a hiatus in 1996.
By 2003 the band’s classic line up, minus bass player Ronnie Purnell, had reformed and were playing some of the big US nostalgia festivals before releasing the live CD/DVD “Live in Baltimore” in 2012.
However, both the band and the fans wanted more and this led to the recording of “Rock Your Face Off”, their first studio album since 1995’s “$how Bu$ine$$”.
“Rock Your Face Off” is loud, dripping with attitude and the band sound like they have never been away, mostly courtesy of vocalist Steve Whiteman partying like it is 1986 – this gives the album an authentic edge.
Tracks such as “Wheels In Motion”, “Mean Miss Adventure”, “Can’t Stop The Show” and “You’re Gone” make this a good album but it is the trio of “All The Right Things”, “Love Me With Your Top Down” and “Tail On The Wag” that make this essential listening for fans of ‘80’s rock.
The album’s obligatory ballad “Inside Outside Inn” is lyrically amusing – although I am not sure this was meant to be the case. Don’t let me ruin it for you though, check it out yourself. There are also 2 live bonus tracks from the band’s back catalogue in the form of “Love Pollution” and “Midnite Dynamite”.
With “Rock Your Face Off” Kix have recorded a great comeback album – any other bands from the same era who are thinking of entering the studio again should follow their example. ****1/2
Review by Nikk Gunns
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