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Kick Axe – IV

Label: Song Haus Music
Format: CD
Released: 2004
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Reunited Canadians Kick Axe are back with their fourth album after leaving the scene in 1987.  Kick Axe never really gained enough steam to grace the pages of Hit Parader or Circus magazines back in the mid 80’s when Metal was huge.  They did respectable business, opening up for bands like Whitesnake and Scorpions and seeing some air time on the soundtrack for the Transformers movie. 

Sticking to what they do, they have amassed 14 tracks for their IV album, you have to figure it has been almost twenty years since their last record was released, and yes at the time when records were still pressed.  Nothing has changed much as far as sound, with strong clean soulful vocals (check out “Consolation”) and harmonies included, the members time apart has benefited in the end.  Opener “Right Now” followed by “Rockin Daze” brings a familiar melodic hard rock sound that still hold up in today’s music world without sounding dated or that retro.  When done right, like in this instance, you can get familiarity without feeling like you are back in High School. 

Something like “Do You know” or “Slip Inside my Dream” is not even metal where the guitars are almost absent and clean, something like AOR rock in the vein of Asia or Magnum.  Momentum does get lost for many tunes lacking edge and punch, good songs and very tuneful, but lack in steam on the whole.  “Time”, which is half way through the CD, has more edge but still plods along and loses its impact because of its passive delivery.   “Rock n Roll” is better with stronger guitars and rock to its roll, got a slide guitar as well.

On the whole, as a collection of music from a group that has been dormant for some time, it is not bad at all and shows that Kick Axe has not lost the ability to write, just maybe need to get back in the groove again. 

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