Slik Toxik: ‘Irrelevant’
Released 1994 (Strawberry Records), re-issued 2015 (Perris Records)
Slik Toxik’s first full length album Doin’ the Nasty was one of my early ’90s favourites. Chock full of attitude and swagger, Nasty was what the sleaze genre was all about. Slik Toxik won awards for that album, but had some issues over the next few years, including replacing band members and switching record labels. Their second full-length offering, Irrelevant, was released in 1994 with little label support and even less fan interest.
Unfortunately, times and musical tastes had moved on from Slik Toxik’s heyday. The monumental shift in musical tastes from L.A. to Seattle, and from so-called hair metal to nu-metal had Slik Toxik caught between a rock and a hard place. On first inspection, one could compare the band’s transition to that of Skid Row, from their ’89 self-titled debut to Slave To The Grind, which was much more bold and quite a bit heavier. Unfortunately, Slik Toxik were too late to the game. In Canada, it wasn’t the Seattle scene as much as it was toward creative and experimental hard rock such as I Mother Earth, Our Lady Peace and the Tea Party. These bands were creating an electrifying new sound and vision for the way hard rock should be portrayed… way beyond the shoe-gazing grunge scene.
I could go track by track through Irrelevant, but I won’t, simply because it’s irrelevant. It’s an album stuck in limbo between conflicting styles and contradictory eras. Sure, Nick Walsh is strong as always. The guitars grind along, and the drums beat the rhythm. But the group tries too hard to incorporate the mid-’90s experience while still pretending to be an ’80s band. Frankly, I’m trying to keep this album in context and be objective, but it’s simply not very good regardless of the decade. The only saving grace on the digipak is the original 1989 demo of “White Lies, Black Truth” from Doin’ The Nasty, which is a simple reminder of what was once great.
01. Twenty Something
02. Kill The Pain
05. I Wanna Gun
06. Liquid Calm
07. Fashioned After None
09. Blue Monday
10. Mother Machine
11. Just Fade Away
12. White Lies / Black Truth (1989 demo)
Nicholas Walsh – vocals
Kevin Gale – guitars
Rod Bruce – guitars
Neal Busby – bass
Adam Headland – drums
Christopher Plock – saxophone (9)
Produced by Paul Gross (1-11)
Engineered by Eric Ratz (1-11)
Mixed by Paul Gross and Eric Ratz (1-11)
Mastered by Georges Graves (1-11)
Produced by Slik Toxik (12)
Engineered by Andrew St. George (12)
Mixed by Anthony Vandenberg and Rick Anderson (12)
Reviewed by Metal Mike for Sleaze Roxx, March 2016
Slik Toxik – Dive 1994
Slik Toxik’s video for “Dive” off the album “Irrelevant” released in 1994.