I dedicate this blog to Rockstar Super Paulie whose pulling up stakes and leaving Tbay and moving down to London Ontario! Rockstar,you will be missed Brother! So On The Road To Rock is dedicated to you !
Whoa Nelly …1984 and out of the backwoods of Saskatchewan comes Kick Axe and there major label debut Vices that rocked and socked us all in the summer of that year! All of us high schoolers bought Vices! Myself,Tbone and Mucc and many others we all had our own copy! The buzz on these guys was huge in Canada and with Muchmusic spinning there video(On The Road To Rock) and of course the songs Vices and Heavy Metal Shuffle! These guys came out swinging and were snapped up by the guys that brought us Quiet Riot and King Kobra. Speaking of that a couple of Kick Axe tracks ended up on the debut King Kobra Ready To Strike (Piece Of The Rock is a great track) and Kick Axe were also writing for a Ozzy and Dio less Black Sabbath(supposedly Sabbath wanted George to audition and Krokus wanted Larry on guitar to join)…so with that in mind these guys had potential and well there debut is a great rewind to mid 80s metal rock in Tbay !
So give a round of applause to the Gillstrom Brothers(Larry and Brian) Victor Langen,Raymond Harvey and the one and only,the guy with the coolest first name in a metal act in the 80s …George Criston!( how many lead singers have the rocker name ….George!) yeah Man U gotta salute that!
HEAVY METAL SHUFFLE- baaaaaaaaaa,yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa……..that’s George laying down one of the best opening cool battle yelps up Til that point (1984)that I ever heard. George tells me that he’s gonna scream and shred my Sears Stereo speakers whether I like it or not! Also of note is the big backing vocals and the thumping bass. Holy Sheeeeeit! These guys mean business! Believe me and check out the live vid posted!
VICES- drums begin with bass and reved up in synch guitar action and boom more big time vocals. George has a real interesting vibe vocal delivery and man thats what makes Kick Axe stand out with this debut. With so many bands clamouring for attention It took a lot to be different than all others and by the grace of good golly miss Molly, Kick Axe delivers it in spades!
STAY ON TOP- this is a driving straight ahead Kick Axe with a real well done catchy chorus. Big time vocals are also what carries this album along with Curious George on lead throat! Man can he wail,but also he can sing……
DREAMIN ABOUT U-hahaha….Kick Axe deliver some acoustic but not wimpy acoustic and its mixed well with the electric guitars and bam here comes the chorus and wow this tune should have been huge! Maybe it was and perhaps I was asleep at the wheel so to speak! But yeah this is how a slow song should be done……thank Goodness they didnt weaken there sound! This probably would have put me over the edge as a 16 year old back than!
MANEATER- nope not close to the Hall And Oates! This is Kick Axe warning us of the fast oncoming approach of a MANEATER! Watch out boys she will chew you up! Nope not with Kick Axe around! She’ll chew you up perhaps but not with George and the boys around!
ON THE ROAD TO ROCK- this was a big track and big goofy video that received a ton of play in Muchmusic ! Pretty catchy tune actually it made me feel like I was on the Axes tour bus circa 1984 but really me and Tbone were On The Road To Rock in Tbones first car ( a Chevy ) and it was a real cool slick looking 2 door jacked up hot rod and it could fly and than Tbone sold it to some poor sap at school and two weeks later the transmission hit the pavement! Hahahaha ..Tbone felt horrible …..but that’s the way it goes in life sometimes and Yep I’m rambling ! Also of note when me and T were at the Crüe show in Winnipeg back in 90 we sauntered into some bar and the local hair band slogged out On The Road To Rock!…hahaha….how does this tye in with Tbones first car and a cover band ? It doesn’t at all but thanks for reading!
CAUSE FOR ALARM- ring goes the bell and here’s another firecracker of a tune! George delivers the goods vocally and this song is a 4by4 stomper of a track! Big guitars ripping solos,it’s all good here…move on…..
ALIVE AND KICKIN- the tour opener on the Vices tour. These guys got on some good tours back than. Whitesnake,Quiet Riot and Judas Priest are the stages that Kick Axe rocked with. How do I know this? Well I read man…..but anyways this song is not a bone crusher opener like Cause For Alarm but Alive And Kickin still plows forward at a decent clip!
ALL THE RIGHT MOVES- more big time vocals and another great track and well here’s another one of those Gems….She’s Got All The Right Moves sez George and if you don’t believe him ..hahaha…your a poser! Once again the backing vocals are huge. Great solid rock track!
JUST PASSIN THROUGH-Kick Axe ends Vices with a song that reminds me of Judas Priest for some reason except Priest had no backing vocals and when they did Ummm yeah …..but Kick Axe ends the album with me,Tbone and Mucc wanting more!
IN CONCLUSION- Kick Axe releases a gem of a debut that believe it or not still holds up well today! The fact that they came from Regina with duelling lead guitars,thumping bass,driving drums and a dude who could sing and went by the name of George was awesome! They parallelled a sound unto themselves with big ass backing vocals which to my recollection no other band in Canada was doing at that time! Well done fella’s ….