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(Repost) Crazy Lixx Inject New Life Into ’80s-Flavored Rock on ‘Riot Avenue’

Here's one from my old Noisecreep days! Oringially published on April 20, 2012, I reintroduced some AOL Music fans to Crazy Lixx.

Crazy Lixx - Riot Avenue (Reissue)

Swedish hard rock heroes Crazy Lixx will release their third album, Riot Avenue, on April 24. The album features a grittier sound and a new second guitarist named Edd Liam.

"Edd really fits in well! Great guitar player and friend... it started back after the New Religion album, that's when we knew we needed more guitars so that's when Edd joined," explains Crazy Lixx guitarist Andy Dawson. "Edd's been playing with us live for almost two years now and this third album was his first with the band and it turned out great."

Forming in 2002, Crazy Lixx have a throwback '80s vibe, but that doesn't mean they are not current. Dawson knows the band gets compared to '80s mega-stars like Def Leppard and Bon Jovi, and takes it all in stride... while keeping true to his band's own vision.



Crazy Lixx worked with producer Robert Ahrling on Riot Avenue. "We just wanted to do an album with no boundaries, no 'can't do this or that,' just record what we heard and try to get that on tape," Dawson explains. "Of course, we got tired of sounding like other bands, bands you can clearly hear we've taken inspiration from and a sound not so original. I'm not saying that all of those things have changed but the most important ones have."

Riot Avenue will hit stores on April 24 via Frontiers.


(Repost) Chinese Democracy - The Bring Back Glam! Review

I remember being so pumped to finally own Chinese Democracy. The day of release I went to Best Buy and grabbed a copy and ripped it open to listen in the car. I've since decided the album is excellent - but man people were mad when this thing came out! Originally published on November 24, 2008 this was the biggest news in rock for the entire month.

Guns n' Roses - Chinese Democracy


A decade and a half in the making, Chinese Democracy is here for all the world (well, except China, but that's another story) to enjoy. The Guns n' Roses opus took nearly 15 years to produce and became the endless butt of music jokes over the years.

Today, Axl Rose is the one laughing...all the way to the bank.

A long wait usually creates controversy, and that's exactly the case with Chinese Democracy. I'll be honest: I wanted to hate the album, but I can't. I love it. I think it's basically phenomenal with amazing lyrics, great guitar work and over-the-top sonic production that just blows other modern rock releases out of the water.

Here's the track listing:

Chinese Democracy
Shackler's Revenge
Street of Dreams
If the World
There Was a Time
Catcher in the Rye
Riad n' the Bedouins
This I Love

What are my favorite tracks on Chinese Democracy?

"If the World" is easily my favorite song on the album, but I also dig the album's title track, "There Was a Time" and "This I Love." The thing about Chinese Democracy is that it is about as far from Appetite from Destruction that you can get - and I think that's a good thing. We already know and love "Sweet Child O' Mine" so maybe it's time we all grow up and learn to dig something with a modern flair. Chinese Democracy isn't an in-your-face record, either. This is the sort of album that takes several listens to really "get." There are a lot of layers here - each listen brings out a new complexity.

Now, I get the prejudice against Chinese Democracy. Quite frankly, no album should take upwards of 15 years to produce. The time wasted is one thing, the money another. Still, I think the final product is pretty damn amazing. Was it worth the wait? I'm not exactly sure. Am I glad the album is finally out and I can listen on my iPod while at work? Hell yes.

Seriously, though,  Chinese Democracy is an album you need to hear for yourself. All the reviews in the world can't do it justice one way or another. This is a love it or hate it sort of situation. I love it, I already know some of you hate it - for better or worse, Guns n' Roses are back.



(Repost) Like An Obscure Skid Row...

Remember this post about Sven Gali? No? Well now you can read it! Originally published on January 31, 2009, this elicited some excitement and nostalgia.

Sven Gali - Sven Gali

Ok, so Skid Row got massively famous. Across the border and to the north was Sven Gali, often compared to Skid Row. The band had some great tunes but often fell into the "ripped-jean-and-flannel-shirt-but Glam-band" conundrum. After all, it was the dawn of the 90s and flannel was hot - you know, literally and figuratively. So, what's a good Glam band to do but keep the locks long and don some red plaid.

Sven Gali originally formed in 1987 but didn't release their debut until five years later. The good thing about Sven Gali is that they definitely have a hard edge - and are great if you're in a bad mood or just want to drive your car really fast. Also, there's a lot of live clips of them on YouTube so you can  really get  a sense of what the band is all about.

Who were Sven Gali? David Wanless sang and Dee Cernile and Andy Frank played guitar. Gregg Gerson (and later Mike Ferguson) played drums and Shawn Mahar played bass. The band's biggest "hit" is "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" but I much prefer the fast songs. Leave the ballads to Sebastian Bach-era Skid Row I say.

Remember those flannel shirts I mentioned? Yeah, Sven Gali tried to go grunge and - shock - it didn't work. Who knew that a Glam band would suck at grunge?

Anyway, here's the tracklisting for that self-titled debut:

01. Under The Influence
02. Tie Dyed Skies
03. Sweet Little Gypsy
04. In My Garden
05. Freakz
06. Love Don't Live Anymore
07. Stiff Competition
08. Real Thing
09. Whisper In The Rain
10. 25 Hours A Day
11. Here Today Gone Tomorrow
12. Disgusteen

And now the obligatory video clip:

"What You Give"


(Repost) Whereas Steven Tyler Makes A Burger King Commercial... And I Die A Little Inside

Remember this? Originally published on April 27, 2012, Steven Tyler of my beloved Aerosmith just needed to make a little more money I guess.

Steven Tyler - We're All Somebody From Somewhere

Oh my. No one can accuse Steven Tyler of not working hard to hustle for a buck. Between Aerosmith, American Idol and greasy hamburgers, Tyler must be sweating cash.

If the rest of Aerosmith is resentful of Tyler's work on Idol, I can't imagine how this burger deal went down between the iconic rockers. Alas, watch the singer of my favorite band of all time hock heart attacks, er, chicken tenders.


(Repost) White Lightning

For whatever reason, this post has always stuck with me. In fact, it might be one of my very favorites. Originally published on January 8, 2007.  I guess I was able to get out what I was feeling at the time.

Def Leppard - Adrenalize

Steve Clark died 16 years ago today. He was the co-lead guitarist for Def Leppard, a tortured soul who drank himself to death at age 30.

Adrenalize was Def Leppard’s first album without Steve. He died midway through production after an accidental overdose of mixing prescription pain killers and liquor. On the album, the remaining four members of DL recorded the track “White Lightning.” Clark’s nickname was “White Lightning” but the term is also used to describe booze and other drugs. While treated as an anthem to their fallen comrade, lyrics to “White Lightning” also include a warning for others riding the addiction train:

“You wanna leave but you can't let go
You wanna stop but you can't say no
(You never laugh about it, you just can't live without it)
You've had enough but you just want more
You never get what you're looking for
(You never laugh about it)”

And later, after the bridge:

“The White Lightning - On a dead end street
White Lightning - Where the deadbeats meet
White Lightning - It's a one way ride
White Lightning - Oh, there's nowhere to hide.”

Instead of replacing Clark during the Adrenalize sessions, the band forged ahead as a quartet, later hiring Vivian Campbell on guitars. On the official website, Steve Clark retains a biography under the band section.

This, beyond any recording or songwriting capabilities, speaks volumes to the talent Clark oozed during his time with the British supergroup. In short, Clark knew the true essence of the 1980s musical zeitgeist and was able to transform that mold into power cords, strong riffs and gigantic album sales.

Personally, I think “White Lightning” is the best track on Adrenalize. The 50 second guitar intro literally makes the song, and the entire track isn’t overproduced like so many DL hits. Interestingly, the song was never released as a single, and I can only assume this was out of respect for Clark. The band didn’t want to look like it was profiting off the death of their famous guitarist. For this reason, “White Lightning” will be our underappreciated song obsession of the week.

For Def Leppard, success is a mixed bag. Personally, I award DL the title of the biggest band of the 1980s. They sold more albums, played more shows and stayed on the charts longer than any other glam band. In the middle of the grunge hey-day, Adrenalize simultaneously debuted at number 1 on the U.S. and U.K. Billboard charts, remaining in the top spot for several weeks. Sales-wise, this was Def Leppard’s last big success, save for the many greatest hits compilations (Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection was certified platinum in February of 2006). Critics say that when Steve Clark died, so did Def Leppard. I don’t know if I agree with that statement, but I do think the band lost a certain edge that will never be replaced. It’s a certain quality every band loses when an integral musician leaves the fold.

[“White Lightning” lyrics by Def Leppard, for the 1992 Mercury/Universal release Adrenalize]


(Repost) Vixen: Live in Sweden

Originally published on October 30, 2007, this little article about Vixen got a tepid response. Most lamented that they couldn't get into the band. Now that more than a decade has passed, I'd be curious to know if anyone's opinions have changed on the all-girl rockers.

Vixen - Vixen

Love it or hate it, the fact remains that Vixen are one of the most successful all-female rock bands in history. The glam band started humbly enough in Minnesota before founding guitarist (and only remaining original member) Jan Kuehnemund packed up and moved to California for the bright lights of the Sunset Strip.

By the late 1980s, Vixen was formed and the quartet found themselves on MTV in heavy rotation. They also played some big shows, including a run with Bon Jovi. Then reality set in, the girls bickered and Vixen disbanded. Fast forward several years and the band makes a lot of false starts with various members. Then, just two years ago, Kuehnemund put together the current Vixen line-up and started touring Europe. This European vacation eventually landed the women a spot on the roster of the 2005 Sweden Rock Festival. The band recorded the performance, simply called Vixen: Live in Sweden. In all, the album is both a raw and exciting listen.

Vixen: Live in Sweden opens with the title track to the band’s second album Rev It Up. The crowd response is good, and helps get the momentum going for “Streets in Paradise,” also originally recorded for Rev It Up. In 2006, Vixen released an album of all-new material called Live and Learn. Many of the songs for the album were either written or recorded by the time Vixen took the Sweden Rock stage. It’s not surprising that some of those songs made their way into the set-list. “Anyway” is one of these tracks. An upbeat rocker with Vixen’s trademark melody makes the track more than listenable. What’s more the crowd seems to love the song, even if it is unfamiliar.

Vixen’s most famous songs, “Cryin’” and “Edge of a Broken Heart” are buried deep in the set, as expected. Moreover, you can hear thousands of voices singing right along as the band plays both tracks. To the band’s credit, the production on the effort is exceptionally high. It’s very easy to hear the crowd, but the fans don’t overpower the band. Ironically, the last song on Vixen: Live in Sweden is “Bad Reputation.” Vixen dedicates the song to Vince Neil of Motley Crue. The kings of Sunset Strip Metal also played the 2005 Sweden Rock Festival. In all, “Bad Reputation” is a more than fitting encore for all the glam bands at the massive event.


(Repost) This Is The Coolest Tour Opener Ever

Today's post was originally published on February 26, 2016. This little clip got a ton of comments! Since Iron Maiden is out on the road right now, I thought it only made sense to share again.

Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

Iron Maiden is back and on the road. The Book Of Souls world tour kicked off Wednesday night in Florida. Iron Maiden is a band I've still never seen live. Maybe someday. For now, check out this amazing show opening video. This must have cost a fortune.

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