Crazy Lixx - Riot Avenue (Frontiers)

Malmo hair metal gods return with their best album yet...
Release Date: 
19 Apr 2012 - 11:30pm

Jesus Christ almighty. I’m sweating. I’m clammy. I’m shivering. All at the same time. The hairs on the back of my neck are standing priapically to attention and its all for one reason, and one reason only. Crazy Lixx are steaming out of the MaF death deck and quite frankly it feels like its 1989. And that’s a good thing round these parts.

Like most bands doing anything worthy of your attention musically these days CL are Swedes, but close your eyes, wrinkle up your ears and listen hard and you’ll be convinced they hail from somewhere in America’s Midwest via Hollywood, so eerily do they recreate the sounds and sights of the halcyon days of hair metal.

But lets get one thing straight from the get-go: This ain’t some hipster-friendly irony trip a la the loathsomely played out Steel Panther. This is top fuel, high octane heavy rock n’roll of the highest order that, whilst homaging the likes of Def Leppard, Whitesnake and, um, Krokus (oh yes, they sound a lot like Krokus, especially on titanic opener Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) always stops short at pastiche or mere rip off. This is an utterly believable, laudable stab at recreating the sound we all loved so much by the end of the eighties, so much so that, were you there at the time, it won’t fail to bring a tear to your leather-trousered eye. If you’re too young to remember the times before Cobain when rock n’roll was the soundtrack not to dullard tales of family abuse and disfunction but to, gulp, good times, fast women and, erm, heavy action, then allow yourself to sit back and immerse yourself in the fun.

For fun is surely what Riot Avenue is all about. Even the obligatory (but very, very, good) power ballad tacked on to the back end of the album, Only the Dead Know, reeks of the sort of good time class that only the likes of Kix dealt in back in the day, the icy, cold production providing the perfect backdrop for a spine tingling vocal from Danny Rexon that is utterly utterly on point as far as hair metal vocalisin’ is concerned. Sure he does sound too close at times to a cross between Krokus throatsmith Marc Storace and Kix frontman Steve Whiteman, but it matters not one jot when he’s pushing all your buttons during a frankly titanic key change in the middle of Heatseeker or imploring you all to join his Church of Rock. Jeebs, during said sin psalmery he even gets an old non believer like me testifyin’ such is the dead eyed sincerity of the man’s delivery.

Of course this ain’t gonna be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have an ounce of fun in you, an urge to rock that needs scratching even despite your best intentions to the contrary you need this album in your ears. You need to get the razor sharp, sleaze heavy riffage of guitarists Andy Dawson and Edd Liam upsetting the neighbours at ungodly hours, oh my goodness sirs and siresses you do. You really do. We need to make every street in this goddam country, better yet on this goddamn planet,  a Riot Avenue people, and we need to do it now! Go to it!