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Full Throttle Rock

Album Review: Kix - Rock Your Face Off

Posted on October 11, 2014 at 8:55 PM

Kix - Rock Your Face Off

Written by Antony Scholefield


Poor Kix. They're a fun mob really. It's not their fault that their biggest hit was a ballad about suicide. If all you know about the Maryland-based glam-rockers is 'Don't Close Your Eyes', you need to jump on board with Rock Your Face Off.

It's tough to believe that the new record is Kix's second-highest charting album on the US Top 200. Back in the decade - the 1980s, specifically - they never experienced the super-duper sales of their contemporaries, like Def Leppard or Aerosmith.

Still, it's not because they're any less fun. Halfway between Twisted Sister and AC/DC, it's difficult to dislike the Kix brand.

The early numbers from Rock Your Face Off are closer to AC/DC, especially 'You're Gone' and 'Can't Stop The Show', which sound like mid-tempo tracks from Powerage or Highway to Hell. The guitar breaks are great. The production is spacious. It's all pretty damn good, really.

There's something tricky to describe about the Kix style. It's not low-key, but it lacks the soaring heights of other glam-rock. I'd say it's unfussy. The first and last tracks don't try to explode the whole album. It's all pitched at the same level.

The exception is 'Rollin' in Honey', with is a big, anthemic Twisted Sister-like piece. 'Tail On The Wag' is another song with a bit more scale, but for me, 'Honey' is the standout.

'Rock Your Face Off' and 'All The Right Things' are two more highlights on the record. The first has a complex setup of different riffs that sound like heavy machinery - in a great way - while the second is a sexed-up hard-rocker with a catchy chorus. It starts with something that sounds like the theme to a B-grade Western film played on guitar. I don't know why.

The album's odd-one-out is 'Inside Outside Inn', a dodgy acoustic ballad. Actually, it's not that bad, but it's a speed hump on the smooth highway of hard rock. On the upside, it makes you sit up and realise how enjoyable the first few legs of the record have been.

Rock Your Face Off finishes with 'Rock & Roll Showdown'. It's got a hell of a blues-rock riff and a guitar break set in the Angus Young mould. It's no-bull hard-rock happiness - like almost everything else on the album. Get amongst it, everyone. And remember to have fun.

Categories: Album Reviews

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