Released 2011 (Z Records)
CD Track List:
01. Just An Obsession
02. Break Them
03. Nothing Else Tonight
04. Come Back To Me
06. Endless Night
07. For Your Love
08. Making Me Burn
10. Don’t Hold You Back
11. Angel Of My Dreams (acoustic version)
Alec Michaels – vocals
Kkris Pueblas – guitars
Akrue – bass
Seba Arean – drums
Chris Motta – keyboards
German Simeone – bass
Micaela Dive – chorus (2,7,9)
Melissa Evila – guitar (1,3)
Roque D’agostino – acoustic guitar (9)
Produced by Alec Michaels and Kkris Pueblas. Executive producers and Gustavo Damato, Jakks and Mark Alger.
Don’t let the keyboard player’s Flock Of Seagulls hair-do fool you, Argentina’s Jakks are in no way a new-wave group. What they are is an AOR band with a scorching guitar-slinger that sometimes cross the line into straight-ahead melodic rock territory.
Conjuring images of both Bon Jovi and Bad English, Jakks both impress and frustrate. When they stick to simple hard rock and crank things up as shown on the opening track “Just An Obsession” (where Alec Michaels does his best Rhett Forrester impression), “Making Me Burn”, and “Don’t Hold You Back”, Jakks are great and predictable at the same time. It’s too bad moments like this are few and far between on this CD.
Instead Fire is filled with too much boring and limp-wristed AOR — and on the tracks where the noodling keyboards take over, you just want to scream. “Nothing Else Tonight” is an example of how Jakks can ruin things — the catchy guitar riff that starts the song off gets pushed aside by powerless vocals and a paint-by-numbers approach. The love song “Come Back To Me” also fails to pack any punch, instead delivering a sappy sound while coming across as a Bad English b-side. More of the same can be found on “Everything”, “Endless Night”, the forgettable “For Your Love” and the ballad “Dreams”.
Simply put, Jakks plays it way too safe on Fire — a more apt title may have been ‘controlled burn’. Sure this type of sound has propelled several bands to stardom over the years, but to me it is a lifeless and risk-free path to take. The potential is there, and an album full of “Just An Obsession” clones would have been far more interesting. Instead Jakks seem determined to water things down and recreate the syrupy sounds that even your mother could enjoy (complete with annoying keyboards) — what a waste.
www.myspace.com/jakksrock – www.zrecords.net
Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, June 2011