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Crazy Lixx: Riot Avenue

Another day, another terrible album cover from Frontiers Records; nothing new there, however, saying that we won't be listening to the cover will we? So how does the music stand up? Pretty well actually. Frontiers would have us believe that Crazy Lixx have unleashed, "a rocking new album which sums up all the influences from KISS, Guns'n'Roses, Buckcherry and Motley Crue." I can see some of those influences on Riot Avenue but to my ears it is as if the band have suddenly developed a wish to be AC/DC since their last outing. As Airbourne have proved a career can be founded on being like Angus and his mates.

"Simple" would be the word I would use to describe Riot Avenue, from the opening of "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" to the end of "Only the Dead Know" everything is very straight ahead, heads down, no nonsense rock n roll without any pretention to be anything that it isn't. Gone are the harmonies from their previous works and in are louder, more aggressive guitars. Sadly also on the way out are genuinely memorable songs. The album is fine when it's on but other than the fact that I had to listen to it for review purposes is the only reason why I kept coming back to it and other that "Young Blood" and "Riot Avenue" itself very little has sunk into my brain and overall, that's not quite good enough.

Track Listing:

  1. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
  2. Young Blood
  3. Riot Avenue
  4. Fire It Up
  5. Downtown
  6. In The Night
  7. Church of Rock
  8. Heatseeker
  9. Sweet, Bad & Beautiful
  10. Be Gone
  11. Only the Dead Know

Added: May 20th 2012
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1398
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Crazy Lixx: Riot Avenue
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-05-19 17:11:06
My Score:

After a bit of a line-up reshuffle, Crazy Lixx return with their third album Riot Avenue. Moving away from the slicker tones of album number two New Religion, Riot Avenue introduces a amalgam of AC/DC, Skid Row and Def Leppard, with a smidge of make-up-less Kiss. It should be a sound recipe however while there are a few scintillating moments, in the end, this all feels a little too formulaic and tired to really be anything other than a stop-gap.

Vocally Danny Rexon seems to have added a bit more grit to his sheen, something that counter productively has actually removed a fair bit of what made him such an irresistible force before. The likes of "Heatseeker" or "In The Night" crack along with a barrow load of Whoa-o's and Oh Yeah's, but where it counts - the riff department, or the hook section, things simply fail to make the desired effect. Don't get me wrong, the sleazy swagger of "Sweet, Bad & Beautiful" shows that Crazy Lixx do know how to serve up a groove-fest that will get you out of your seat and get those hips grinding, while closing track "Only The Dead Knows" (which begins in a very similar fashion to the Y&T classic "Rescue Me", but without the massive rocked-up pay-off), introduces a poise that has been sadly lacking on the album up until this point. However too often the tried and tested road is the option taken, being safe and steady and a million miles away from any place I know as a Riot Avenue. Opener "Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot" being a good example of a song that is decent fun while it lasts, but isn't likely to have you scurrying to hear it again and again.

Whether New Religion raised expectations to a higher place than those which Crazy Lixx were ever destined to match, or possibly the loss of a rhythm section has slightly destabilised this ship, I'm not sure. However if ever there was an instance of a band that seemed destined for great things, losing their way, then Riot Avenue is it.

Not a poor album by any stretch of the imagination, but undoubtedly a disappointment and one that Crazy Lixx will have to recover from quickly...

» Reader Comments:

Crazy Lixx: Riot Avenue
Posted by Luca Sapo Malo on 2012-04-24 16:13:58
My Score:

IMHO not "good enough" does not give the right view, I mean, it's just different. I think there's a basic mistake: Riot Avenue must not be filed under "Class Metal" but under "Sleaze Metal"! More aggressive, less "clean", double guitar attack, some Kiss choruses. For whom, like me, is still in love with the first G'n'R album, LA Guns, Vain and in general, all those bands that brought a rougher and less polished feeling to the genre at the end of the 80's, this cd is simply a delight. Conclusion? If sleaze metal is your cup of tea, sink deep into this one!

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