Released on April 20, 2012 (Frontiers Records)
01. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
02. Young Blood
03. Riot Avenue
04. Fire It Up
06. In The Night
07. Church Of Rock
09. Sweet, Bad & Beautiful
10. Be Gone
11. Only The Dead Know
Danny Rexon – vocals
Andy Dawson – guitar
Edd Liam – guitar
Loke Rivano – bass
Joey Cirera – drums
I’ve been riding the Crazy Lixx bandwagon for years now, ever since I first heard their ‘Do Or Die’ single — fast forward seven years and the Swedish rockers have released their third full-length entitled Riot Avenue. Topping their previous efforts is no small task, nor is living up to my expectations, but let me be the first to say that Crazy Lixx have nailed it — and finally delivered the album I have been waiting all this time for.
Why is Riot Avenue the shining star of Crazy Lixx‘ discography? That’s simple — because the band have finally added some ‘dirt’ to their music that was only hinted at back in their formative years. The huge ’80s influenced arena sound is still here, but this time around there is an element of toughness to the band that was getting washed away with slick sounds and production — in other words, the band has added more ‘rock’ to their ‘roll’. So what we get from Riot Avenue is the best Crazy Lixx has to offer, the sound we always knew they were capable of, and a disc that raises the stakes yet again in the crowded Swedish rock scene.
One change you’ll instantly notice is how the guitars have taken over the Crazy Lixx sound, as Andy Dawson feeds off new member Edd Liam for a furious twin attack — listening to Riot Avenue makes you wonder why the band didn’t add a second shredder years ago. The duo flails away from beginning to end, adding more meat to the bones of the signature Crazy Lixx sound. And that sound is still over-the-top ’80s rock, only now with a heavier and more captivating direction.
There are still elements of Def Leppard here, but throughout several songs you can picture Paul Stanley of KISS licking his finger in ecstasy. Probably the hardest thing for the band regarding this album was choosing the first single, as several are worthy of that distinction, but they went with the safe “In The Night” — a choice as good as any. “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”, a hard-hitting opener that takes you back to the “Heroes Are Forever” days, starts us off while “Young Blood” continues the trend of offering scorching hard rock with massive melodies, but even better yet is the title track — the type of song that Gene Simmons would sell his children for. I’m not a religious man by any means, however listening to “Church Of Rock” had me looking for the collection plate, “Heatseeker” in turn counters it perfectly with a darker bottom end and “Sweet, Bad & Beautiful” has hit single written all over it thanks to its sing-a-long chorus. Wrapping up the album with the slow “Only The Dead Know” is a slight letdown, but for the most part this is as close as one can get to being flawless.
For Crazy Lixx, going back to their roots and adding a second guitarist were strokes of genius — I knew the band had this kind of album in them. In a year that is already overflowing with excellent new music Riot Avenue has quickly floated to the top of the heap. If this isn’t album of the year it only means that 2012 is going to be one hell of a year for killer music.
Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, April 2012