Moxy: ’40 Years And Still Riding High’

Moxy CD coverMOXY
40 YEARS AND STILL RIDING HIGH
Released on May 22, 2015 (Perris Records)

Review:
Some people prefer the classic ’70s sound — the nuanced production values and the needle on the record feeling. Others would rather have today’s modern wall of sound and in your face instrumentation. That’s your choice. I have been listening to Moxy lately, comparing the 1970s originals to the re-imagining of those originals in 2015. It’s an interesting experience.

Moxy are a band formed in Toronto Ontario in 1974 by Doug Sherman, and originally included classic Canadian rockers Greg Godovitz (Goddo) and Gill Moore (Triumph), as well as guitarist Earl Johnson. The band later became a Moxyrevolving door of musicians, such as Mike Reno (Loverboy) and Tommy Bolin, who later replaced Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple. Between 1974 and 1983, Moxy released five albums and toured North America with the likes of AC/DC, Aerosmith, Triumph, Boston, Styx and Black Sabbath.

That’s the background but now to the 2015 album 40 Years And Still Riding High. The only original member left is Earl Johnson, who brings a new set of talented musicians to these 14 tracks. Slik Toxik and Famous Underground vocalist and Canadian Juno Award winner (in 1993) Nick Walsh has the pipes to really belt out these songs. Johnson and Rob Robbins have developed a crunchy and distorted guitar sound, and Rod Albon on bass with drummer Alexis Von Kraven fit quite well in the pocket. In fact, there’s really nothing much to dislike about this record. Sure it lacks the details and nuances of the original songs, which were much more like early Rush, Triumph, or even hints of Max Webster.  But these updated versions have a style and swagger all their own.

Sleaze Roxx editor Olivier reviewed Moxy’s Live In Toronto late last year and said “It only took me forty years to discover Moxy but I am glad that I did. I also look forward to hopefully catching them play live given that Walsh is based in the Toronto area. It is funny how some of the best bands are right under your nose and you don’t even know about it! Moxy’s songs are just too good not to be known and enjoyed.”

I’m glad that I discovered this updated set of Moxy tracks from years gone by. It’s driving rock for a modern age. But, as good as this hard rock serving is, I can’t get over the feeling that 40 Years And Still Riding High is really just a glorified tribute act. Compare for yourself by listening to the YouTube tracks below with the original versus the updated “Sail On, Sail Away.”

Track List:
01. Midnight Flight
02. Can’t You See I’m A Star
03. Moon Rider
04. Out of the Darkness
05. Another Time Another Place
06. Young Legs
07. Time to Move On
08. Nothing Comes Easy
09. Rock Baby
10. Through The Storm
11. Trouble
12. Sail On Sail Away
13. Still I Wonder
14. Fantasy
15. Riding High

Band Members:
Earl Johnson – guitar
Nick Walsh – vocals
Alexis Von Kraven – drums
Rob Robbins – guitar, backing vocals

Additional Musicians:
Rod Albon – bass

Production:
Produced by Nick Walsh and Rob Robbins
Co-produced by Moxy
Mixed by Rob Robbins
Mastered by Steve Benford
Engineered by David Henriques and Stephan Di Mambro
Vocals engineered by Daniel Tsourounis
Executive producer: Jon Long

Band Websites:
Official Website
Facebook

Reviewed by Metal Mike for Sleaze Roxx, March 2016

“Sail On, Sail Away” – 2015

“Sail On, Sail Away” – 1975