CRAZY LIXX – Riot Avenue

Crazy Lixx - Riot AvenueA lot of changes has been made in the Crazy Lixx camp since their last album, the brilliant New Religion came out back in 2010. First drummer Joel Cirera quit the band, but still plays on the album as a session drummer, then touring second guitar player Edd Liam joined the band permanently and in the middle of the recording bass player Loke Rivano also quit the band, but he still plays on the album. When the album was finished and the band started to look for replacements, Cirera decided to come back as a member of the band.

After their last killer album, expectations were high for this one. They started to record the album with producer Chris Laney at the helm. Laney produced both the Lixxers’ previous albums with an amazing result, therefore it was an unexpected move to abort the collaboration and after listening to the album, it’s the production that is the negative thing about the album. The band seem to want to stray away from the big arena rock sound to a more rootsy, dirtier sound, and in all honesty, I don’t think it’s the right path for the guys to choose.

Crazy Lixx to me are big choruses and a big, fat production and without a producer who can put them in the right direction for which songs to use and not use, there are a couple here that might not have made it through the Laney filter. That said, this is still a very good album. ”Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” is dirty rocker and a great album (and live?) opener, the title track is a true arena rocker the way we we’re used to, ”Fire It Up” is just great and could have been off their last album, ”In The Night” is brilliant, catchy as hell and their first single. Sounds like a rougher version of the New Religion style and ”Church Of Rock” must be single #2. The chorus is plain contagious. Also, ”Heatseeker” is so catchy it’s ridiculous. Single #3?  ”Be Gone” is hard stuff and sounds a bit like Hardcore Superstar and ”Only The Dead Knows” is a fantastic ballad, more a slow blues influenced one than a power ballad.

The first time I heard the record I must admit I was a bit disappointed, but it really grew on me already after the second time and frankly, I really can’t see how this album could be a major disappointment to any fan of the band. It’s a great album, but I can’t help but wonder how these killer songs would have sounded with a Laney type of production.

Jon Wilmenius (7/10)

 

Tracklist:

01. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
02. Young Blood
03. Riot Avenue
04. Fire It Up
05. Downtown
06. In The Night
07. Church Of Rock
08. Heatseeker
09. Sweet, Bad & Beautiful
10. Be Gone
11. Only The Dead Know

 

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