Released on May 17, 2019 (Frontiers Music Srl)
Crazy Lixx are one of my favorite bands of the 21st century. To use a term that stuck with me in an interview I read with the ultra-alluring Priya Panda of Diemonds, the Crazy Lixx sound was the most “palatable” to an old school sleaze rocker like myself. True, most of the stuff I still listen to is by bands that succeeded in the glory days. But, Crazy Lixx were my introduction into the “New Wave of Sleaze Rock” that has emerged from Sweden in the past 10 to 15 years. Since then, of course, a lot of other bands have jewel cases on my CD rack. But, those other bands collect a little more dust than Crazy Lixx as I find I often return to their work above others. This is especially true of New Religion and the self-titled album. Ruff Justice, however, seems to have some dust bunnies on it as it didn’t quite hit the mark as well as prior works. So, I was a little concerned that their new album would suffer the same dust collecting fate. But, I don’t think that will be the case. In fact, I know it won’t.
Even though the album is called Forever Wild, I think the album could have been called “Freedom.” Many of the songs discuss the word “freedom” and the fight for it. I am not all that familiar with the political positioning of Sweden so I can’t say what this is about or if it even has modern political implications. But, it does make you wonder. The sound of the album is a little closer to the 2014 self-titled album with a more booming, rich guitar feel than there was on Ruff Justice. And, the material has more of that punchy vibe whereas Ruff Justice was closer to a Def Leppard sound in places and, of course, a Dokken like sound with “XIII” which was very close to “Dream Warriors.” But, I’m going off on a different track.
Forever Wild kicks off with a wicked sensation called “Wicked.” It has a very “Hell Raising Woman” vibe to it but it certainly is not a carbon copy thereof. Very cool. It’s a true to form Crazy Lixx track I can’t wait to hear live. There are a few songs that sound a little like songs you have heard other bands do. “Break Out” is the first of the songs that fit that bill and also is the first of the songs that focus heavily on freedom. But, it has a little bit of a Poison‘s “Fallen Angel” vibe to it. Again, it is not a carbon copy. But, it was something I was humming the guitar parts to after I heard it and morphed into “Fallen Angel.” Suddenly I was picturing Bret Michaels with the girl on the back of the motorcycle driving off to an unknown future.
“Silent Thunder”, which is another really strong song and has a very inspirational 80’s vibe, follows that “Hey, that kind of sounds like…” vibe a little bit too. Not as much, but I can hear a little “Little Fighter” by White Lion in the chorus. “She’s Wearing Yesterday’s Face” is a great rocker about a girl who had herself a fun night out. I really like this song a lot. It’s a very New Religion feeling track. “Eagle” is another freedom based song with a very ’80s inspirational vibe whereas “Terminal Velocity” is one of the most bad ass songs on the album. It easily could have fit on New Religion.
There are the ballads as you would expect from Crazy Lixx. After all, they are more true to the ’80s style than say Airbourne, another 21st century band I love who is more in line with AC/DC in not doing such softer songs. Those songs do work here as it splits up the rocking and gives you that song you can sing in the shower. “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” is the true ballad whereas “It’s You” is more that in-between mid tempo type song. The album wraps with “Never Die (Forever Wild)” which is perfect — very true to the Crazy Lixx catalog, very true to the messaging of the album, and just a bad ass track.
In the end, I think Forever Wild is a home run. It is a step back towards the more sleazy sound of Crazy Lixx that was there but not as inspired on Ruff Justice. If this were my first introduction to the band, I’d want to hear more. I think this will make the Sleaze Roxx Readers’ Top 20 Albums of 2019 for sure.
02. Break Out
03. Silent Thunder
04. (She’s Wearing) Yesterday’s Face
06. Terminal Velocity
07. It’s You
08. Love Don’t Live Here Anymore
09. Weekend Lover
10. Never Die (Forever Wild)
Danny Rexon – lead vocals, acoustic guitar (8), backing vocals (8, 10), keyboards, percussion, additional instrumentation
Jens Lundgren – lead guitar (2, 3, 5, 8, 10) rhythm guitar
Chris Olsson – lead guitar (1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10) rhythm guitar
Jens Anderson – bass
Joël Cirera – drums
Rob Lundgren – backing vocals (10), additional backing vocals
Roxx Catalano – backing vocals (10), additional backing vocals
Michael Palace – additional backing vocals
Dan Bentley – additional backing vocals
Swan Hellion – additional backing vocals
Lindis Botoflsen – additional backing vocals
Theresa Smith – additional backing vocals
Produced by Danny Rexon
Recorded, engineered and edited by Danny Rexon and Jens Lundgren
Mixed by Chris Laney
Mastered by Cleas Persson
Crazy Lixx‘s “Silent Thunder” video:
Crazy Lixx‘s “Break Out” video: