Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kick Axe - Vices

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Vices, the debut album from the Canadian heavy metal band Kick Axe. Formed in Saskatchewan, the line-up included George Criston (lead vocals), Larry Gillstrom (guitars and backing vocals), Raymond Harvey (guitars and backing vocals), Victor Langen (bass and backing vocals) and Brian Gillstrom (drums and backing vocals). The 1984 album spent fifteen weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 126.

Side one starts with thick-plodding beat of "Heavy Metal Shuffle", a celebratory song about the genre.

The title track "Vices" is next. The song speaks to the embracing of indulgences.

"Stay On Top" is a rousing rocker about partying and celebrating being the best. The acoustic guitar at the end seems a tad out of place though.

Things slow down a bit as we get the ballad "Dreamin' About You", a song about an unrequited love.

"Maneater" is about a woman on the prowl for some action, stalking men like prey.

Side two opens with the party anthem "On the Road to Rock".

"Cause For Alarm" has a rapid-fire rhythm to it that drags the listener along in its wake.

Next up is "Alive & Kickin'".

"All the Right Moves" has nothing to do with the film of the same name from 1983. This song is about a loose girl who hooks up sexually with tons of guys.

The album closes with "Just Passing Through", a song rooted in the life of a band on the road.

This was my first exposure to the music of Kick Axe (thank you, YouTube). First of all, I have to say that they have a great band name; the play on words with the homonym makes me smile. Second, the music on Vices is solid, middle-of-the-pack quality metal. Not a bad start for a group.

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