CRAZY LIXX – Forever Wild

One thing I have been criticized for is that I, apparently, have a habit of giving out too high scores, especially when it comes to bands like Crazy Lixx and such. Why? Well, some people think that high scores really can’t be given to bands that’s not original enough and that 9’s and 10’s are only for classic albums and masterpieces. Well, there are classics that I’m not overly fond of and what’s a masterpiece really lies in the eye (ear) of the beholder, as far as I’m concerned. Well, for all of you, you can might as well stop reading now before your arteries explodes because here comes another one. Yes, I know I’m ahead of myself here but that’s the way it is. See, I really dig Crazy Lixx. A lot. Always have. Does that mean that they’re in for a high score here just because they’re Crazy Lixx? Of course not. Deliver a crap record and I will bring out my chainsaw but the thing is, they have never disappointed me (much) and I really don’t think they ever will.

About them not being that original, well, sure, they do wear their influences on their sleeves and sure, their brand of Melodic Rock mixed with sleaze-glam has been done before many, many times, but does that mean they’re clones? I think not. Crazy Lixx do have their own identity and it’s quite easy to spot when a Lixx-tune is played. But the most important thing is the quality of the music and that quality has always been sky-high – through good and bad times, Crazy Lixx have always provided us with damn good songs. Speaking of good and bad times, many are the members that have walked in and out of the Lixx camp since the start back in 2007, at times I have wondered if they’d throw in the towel for good, so it feels good to report that this album is the first where they have had the same line-up two albums in a row – vocalist Danny Rexon, guitarists Chrisse Olsson and Jens Lundgren, bassist Jens Sjöholm and drummer Joel Cirera. Musically, do I even have to point out that every Lixx album comes with sky-rocketing expectations in tow?

Lixx album # 6 opens with “Wicked”, an uptempo and quite rough rocker that lands somewhere between late 80’s sleazy Hard Rock and Melodic Rock. This is Crazy Lixx bashing out their raunchier ways, punchy but still catchy as hell with a refrain that sticks right off the bat. Leading single “Break Out” is upbeat as well with a bouncy rhythm and an in-your-face outlook. Style wise, it’s a melodic Hard Rock tune that has early Bon Jovi asking Def Leppard out on a date with a main riff that’s a heavier “Fallen Angel” by Poison with more edge. The intense refrain is drenched in hooks and catchiness without being the least sugary. Awesome. Latest single “Silent Thunder” is a mid 80’s smelling pop-rocker on an upbeat note so full of catchiness it hurts. It sounds like it could have been taken from an 80’s movie like “Top Gun” or “Iron Eagle” and the chorus is just insane – this is brilliant. And a hit.

Some heavy riffing and edgy guitars gets “(She’s Wearing) Yesterday’s Face” going over a fat and bouncy rhythm section that creates an upbeat and steady groove. The tune holds a big live-feel and memorable melodies all over and a big chorus that etches itself to the brain right from go. Think a more Melodic Rock laden Skid Row and you’re pretty close. Great tune. “Eagle” takes off with a groovy bass-line, not entirely unlike Black Sabbath’s “Heaven And Hell”. It’s bouncy and groovy, both rhythmic and atmospheric with a dark edge. The tune is a breather for sure – and the longest track on the album with its six minutes. It comes in mid-tempo and holds an AOR-laden refrain that is so catchy I have to gasp for air, but it’s not even close to being either syrupy or cheesy. This is fan-fucking-tastic! “Terminal Velocity” is sleazy and gritty riffing, a true grinder that will rough you up for sure, complete with a striking pop-metal refrain that hits right where it should – a stellar Melodic Rock belter!

“It’s You” is big pop-rock where AOR meets Melodic Rock with a million hooks and a main melody so catchy it’s ridiculous – and we haven’t even gotten to the chorus yet. So let’s get there. The refrain is a million bucks, dressed to the nines, so catchy it hurts and impossible to get rid of, not that anyone would want to. A band like Danger Danger would sell their mothers – and yours – to write a tune like this. So awesome. “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” is the album’s big ballad, a lighter-in-the-air kind of power ballad, bombastic and slightly overblown with a huge arrangement and a refrain that would have shipped this album multi-platinum in 1990. What’s not to love about that? The upbeat and striking “Weekend Lover” brings on a riff borrowed from Van Halen’s “Panama” but mostly, this is Arena Rock, big and mighty with an AOR-smelling refrain that hits the nail right on its head, catchier than super-glue before the almost title-track “Never Die (Forever Wild)” comes along. It’s an infectious pop-rocker with a Hard Rock twist on a rhythmic ground that borders to Metal, a rough tune yet lean and smooth with an amazing refrain that’s ready to kill. Brilliant!

For all rockers that crave some pretentious artsy-fartsy holier than thou artist that tries its best to discover a new genre but couldn’t write a decent tune to save its life, this is nothing for you. But if you want a damn good time, great musicians, a stellar production – here signed Danny Rexon with a mix by Chris Laney – and an all killer, no filler record with 10 awesome songs, then this is for you. Of course, if 80’s/early 90’s Melodic Rock and American Arena Rock isn’t your thing then look elsewhere, but you knew that before you started reading this. Crazy Lixx does nothing new but they do what they do with heart, soul, conviction and a love for this genre and they’re true all the way through and with this new album they have recorded the best album of their career together with their 2014 self-titled album. For all of you who get all worked up because of me giving out to high scores, breathe in a bag because this one deserves it all the way through!

9/10

More Crazy Lixx reviews:

New Religion
Riot Avenue
Crazy Lixx
Ruff Justice

Tracklist:

1. Wicked
2. Break Out
3. Silent Thunder
4. (She’s Wearing) Yesterday’s Face
5. Eagle
6. Terminal Velocity
7. It’s You
8. Love Don’t Live Here Anymore
9. Weekend Lover
10. Never Die (Forever Wild)

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