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KIX: Can't Stop The Show: The Return Of KIX - A Documentary

Formed in the late 70s, US rockers KIX went on to release six straight up, commercial hard rocking albums between 1981 and their initial split in 1996. Reforming in 2003, but without chief songwriter Donnie Purnell, KIX became a live entity capable of matching their heyday heights but one which looked to have shot its last studio bolt. That was until 2014's Rock Your Face Off appeared just under twenty years on from the previous all new KIX effort, $how Bu$ine$$ in 1995. Bolstered by the songwriting talent of new bassist Mark Schenker and teaming up once more with producer Taylor Rhodes, who had worked on 1991's Hot Wire album, the whole band stepped up to the mark, contributing songs and working as a unit in a way that they possibly never had before. The result was an album that sneaked into the top 50 on the Billboard charts and achieved the band's second most successful release ever, in terms of chart placings.

To celebrate those facts and to illustrate their pride in an album that, unlike most melodic rock comebacks, sounded true to the band's roots while not being just a rehash of old ideas, KIX now offer up Can't Stop The Show, a 70 minute documentary that's part historical look at the history of KIX and part behind the scenes/making of Rock Your Face Off. Utilising a mix of on stage clips, vintage in the studio snippets and behind the scenes footage from the making of their most recent album, the band discuss their career to date, teaming up again with Rhodes for RYFO and the new approach they took to songwriting for that album. Interspersed with a host of famous faces recounting their first encounters with the band on record and in person, as well as the impact KIX music has had on their own career and writing style, and the dedication and longevity of the band, it makes for an interesting, entertaining insight as Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme), Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), Chip Z'Nuff (Enuff Z'Nuff), Jeff LaBar (Cinderella), Jamie St.James (Black N Blue) Share Ross (Vixen) and Shannon Larkin (Godsmack) share their thoughts. Add in contributions from industry names such as Eddie Trunk, Keith Ross, Don Jamieson and Alex Kayne and you begin to appreciate the calibre of the people involved.

However what really makes this an interesting insight into the inner workings of this band is the candid contributions from all five current members of KIX, producer Taylor Rhodes (who had to be coaxed back into the world of rock for the album) and mixing engineer Scott Spellbring. All involved sharing their thoughts on the highs and lows (not that there were many of the latter) in creating Rock Your Face Off. With a few laughs and plenty great music along the way, it's an appreciation of what KIX are all about that their fans will thoroughly lap up. Although, in truth, the appeal of this mainly 'talking heads' production may be limited beyond the band's faithful followers (of which I count myself as one).

However, with disc two a CD containing a cracking live set split 50-50 between KIX classics and Rock Your Face Off cuts, not only are we left in no doubt about exactly how good this band are live, but also how strong the album this release centres round really is, "Wheels In Motion", "Love Me With Your Top Down" and "Rock Your Face Off" especially potent. Although the same can be said for older tracks such as "Midnite Dynamite", "Blow My Fuse" or "Cold Shower". The fun and games on stage comes across not only through the stunning guitar display from Ronnie "10-10" Younkins and Brian "Damage" Forsythe, or pulsating rhythms from bassist Mark Schenker and drummer Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfont, but also from the age defying vocals and laugh out loud stage raps from singer Steve Whiteman whole crowd shout "You're welcome!" every time after the frontman says "thank you" after a song, plain ridiculous, but damn good fun!

As a KIX fan I'd have been happy to pick up this live album on its own, so strong are the performances and so different is the set from previous live releases. However teamed up with an excellent documentary that cements the many reasons this band hold such a strong place in their fans' hearts, Can't Stop The Show: A KIX Documentary is simply a must have for followers of KIX and their brand of potent, good time hard rock.

Track Listing
KIX: Can't Stop The Show: The Return Of KIX - A Documentary

1. Wheels In Motion (Live)
2. Rock Your Face Off (Live)
3. Cold Shower (Live)
4. Mean Miss Adventure (Live)
5. You're Gone (Live)
6. Cold Blood (Live)
7. Can't Stop The Show (Live)
8. Girl Money (Live)
9. Love Me With Your Top Down (Live)
10. Blow My Fuse (Live)
11. Love Pollution (Live at Sirius/XM)
12. Midnite Dynamite (Live at Sirius/XM)

Added: October 16th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: KIX online
Hits: 6101
Language: english

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