CRAZY LIXX – Ruff Justice

“Quitting is for quitters”, is one great saying. One guy who has embraced this to the full is Crazy Lixx lead singer / song writer / frontman Danny Rexon. Crazy Lixx as a band aren’t exactly huge even though they sure have lots of fans around the world, but no matter how ruff (pun intended) things have gone and how many set backs the band has gotten in its face, Rexon – together with the other original member, drummer Joel Cirera – has refused to give in and for every set back, Crazy Lixx has landed on its feet and given us fans yet another great album to digest – and remember this, no Crazy Lixx album has ever been any worse than good. When they lost their own guitar hero Vic Zino to Hardcore Superstar, they simply found another one that was even better in Andy Dawson, who today goes by his real name Andreas Eriksson, when Cirera decided to quit, Rexon managed to talk him back and got a second guitarist in Edd Liam and when charismatic bass player Loke Rivano jumped the ship, they managed to recruit another big showman in Jens Sjöholm and together the five-piece recorded the best album of their entire career, the self-titled fourth album from 2014. After that Liam quit and was replaced by Jens Lundgren and this was the band that released the great live album Sound Of The Live Minority last year.

But by then Andy / Andreas had left the band to join British classic hard rockers Inglorious, a band that will release their second album in a month. To be honest, I was considering the fact that Eriksson’s departure would be the final blow for the band. After all, Andreas was Rexon’s right hand and besides being an amazing guitar player, he co-wrote many of the Lixxers’ songs and he also stands as co-producer and I was wondering how on Earth Rexon would manage to replace such a solid musician and song writer as Eriksson – yes, I really did have my doubts. So let’s say hello to one Chrisse Olsson, the band’s newest member. By now, I’m pretty sure that Crazy Lixx won’t disappoint as long as Rexon – once called the new Desmond Child by the band’s producer / engineer Chris Laney – stands as the main song writer, it’s not about if they will make a good album, it’s about just how good it’s gonna be. To hope that they will beat the last studio album might be a bit too much to ask, but if the quality is around 7-8/10, I’ll be a happy guy. So let’s dig into the album and find out what the debut studio album by Messrs. Olsson and Lundgren sounds like.

The album kicks-off with the leading single and video “Wild Child” and the tune really smokes. It’s a super catchy melodic rocker that belongs in the mid 80’s and it mixes a crunchy sound with enough hooks to empty any sea of fish in a second. The album really couldn’t have started in a better way. “XIII” is even better. It’s a brilliant little pop pearl that contains some fat riffs and a chorus so catchy it’s impossible to get out of the brain once it’s there – a total hit. If you have heard it before it’s probably because you’ve been up all night playing the new “Friday 13th” video game where it is featured. The pop-metal rocker “Walk The Wire” is a time-machine right back to the 80’s – the melodies are so memorable, the sound is smooth like silk and the chorus boasts with all the catchiness in the world – so awesome! “Shot With A Needle Of Love” is a classic hard rocker paying a visit to AOR land – fat chunky riffs mixed with memorable melodies to die for. Hot damn! “Killer” comes with a somewhat darker and heavier twist but it still sounds like Crazy Lixx all the way – and again, the chorus sticks right off the bat.

“Hunter Of The Heart” is a huge kick-ass rocker with a brilliant groove that brings early 90’s Sunset Strip sleaze to mind. It’s dirty, raunchy but with a main melody that instantly grabs a hold and a refrain that can move mountains – killer! The Lixxers takes a step back into AOR with the pop laden rocker “Snakes In Paradise” and again, if you don’t surrender to the brilliant chorus and don’t know what will. It sure knocked me for six! Up next – the mandatory power ballad – and ballads are something that Crazy Lixx has always been very good at writing. This one is no exception. It’s a bit melancholic and both dark and desolate but it’s still both smooth and even sticky, but more beautiful than cheesy and mawkish – and it screams 1990. What’s not to love about that? Exactly! “Kiss Of Judas” is a faster paced melodic hard rocker with a slight metal influence that gets in your face and stays there – spot on! They close the album with the second “Friday 13th” video game feature “Live Before I Die”, a ballsy Bon Jovi-esque rocker with a groovy rhythm, memorable verses and a chorus that hits like a ton of bricks – another winner!

So here’s the deal, I don’t think Crazy Lixx are able to record a bad album even if they wanted to – Crazy Lixx simply never disappoints. Sound wise this whole album is an ode to the mid – late 80’s and it’s a big nod back to what must be their most popular album, New Religion. The production, signed Danny Rexon and Chris Laney, is big, fat, clean and smooth, but never sterile or plastic. And it rocks. Like Hell! It’s not as edgy, raw and sleazy like the last album was and even though I think this is the way Crazy Lixx should sound, I must admit that I’m really fond of the way that Crazy Lixx sounded and I do prefer that kind of sound on melodic rock bands. But that’s nothing but niceties here and shouldn’t prevent anyone from getting a hold of a copy of this album because in the world of melodic hard rock things just doesn’t get much better than this. Could this be the album that finally breaks Crazy Lixx huge? Judging by the quality of the songs, it should be.

9/10

Other Crazy Lixx reviews:

New Religion
Riot Avenue
Crazy Lixx

Tracklist:

1. Wild Child
2. XIII
3. Walk The Wire
4. Shot With A Needle Of Love
5. Killer
6. Hunter Of The Heart
7. Snakes In Paradise
8. If It’s Love
9. Kiss Of Judas
10. Live Before I Die

 

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