Released on May 15, 1984 (Pasha/CBS)
Chart Position #126
01. Heavy Metal Shuffle
03. Stay On Top
04. Dreamin’ About You
06. On The Road To Rock
07. Cause For Alarm
08. Alive & Kickin’
09. All The Right Moves
10. Just Passin’ Through
11. 30 Days In The Hole (*cassette version only*)
George Criston – lead vocals
Raymond Arthur Harvey – guitar and vocals
Larry Gillstrom – guitar and vocals
Victor Langen – bass and vocals
Vice Brian Gillstrom – drums and vocals
Produced by Spencer Proffer
Engineered by Duane Baron
Vices was the first album from Canadian metal act Kick Axe — and a little gem it is too, far superior to anything else they did. Another little fact about these guys is that they did two songs for the original Transformers movie under the name Spectre General, which I rate as the best numbers they did — go figure.
Vices is what you would expect from any band of this time (the mid ’80s) — big choruses, riffs galore and some nice shredding during the obligatory guitar solos. It’s not ground breaking, but it is fairly high quality stuff in the production department.
I can’t say I’m daft about “Heavy Metal Shuffle”, but I love the guitar solo which is exactly the type of ‘swinging a cat’ sound I love. “Vices” is a generic beat-your-chest anthem — nothing great, but a solid enough track. “Stay On Top” is another solid number driven by the chorus before the ballad “Dreamin’ About You” enters — a lovely change of pace and a fantastic example of the ’80s rock ballad. “Maneater” is up next and is a number that just plows straight ahead with its pounding drums — a great slice of balls to the walls rock. “On The Road To Rock”, the lead-off single and video, is another solid track — again following the theme of riff-driven, big chorus numbers. “Cause For Alarm” picks up the pace again and is another good solid song yet nothing spectacular. “Alive & Kickin” next, and while a lot of people like it I consider it to be filler material. “All The Right Moves” is another solid but unspectacular and inoffensive number, and last but not least is “Just Passin’ Through” which rounds off this little musically journey. It’s a great head nodder that flows along very nicely.
I use the word solid a lot in this review, and it’s very appropriate. Vices is a solid album with a ton of good, if at times unspectacular, numbers. It’s definitely worth a listen and if you’re fan of big choruses, riffs, and solos then it’s worth shelling some of your cash out on.
www.kickaxe.net – www.myspace.com/wwwkickaxenet
Reviewed by Chifo for Sleaze Roxx, October 2010