NEW AUDIO MACHINE
Released on April 20, 2012 (Frontiers Records)
01. Drag Me Down
02. Get On It
03. Dirty Love
05. Live For The Day
07. Physical Attraction
08. Tattoos & Misery
09. The Coolest Thing
10. Save Your Soul
11. Walk With A Stranger
12. Heart Of Steel (acoustic)
Pete Loran – vocals and rhythm guitar
Steve Brown – lead guitar, harmonica, backing vocals
P.J. Farley – bass and backing vocals
Mark ‘Gus’ Scott – drums, percussion and backing vocals
Glen Burtnik – guitar, bass, percussion and vocals
Pete Evick – guitar and percussion
Eric Ragno – keyboards
Mark Sly – backing vocals
Bobby August – backing vocals
Angela Marien – backing vocals
John ‘J3’ Allen – backing vocals
Produced by Steve Brown.
Mixed by Chuck Alzakian.
New Audio Machine opens with a country vibe — no kidding — but I kind of like it.
Trixter have always been one of those bands a little on the outside, the ones regarded as maybe just a little too comical to be taken seriously — but I have to admit that their first studio album in twenty years has my vote. New Audio Machine has the feel-good vibe Trixter are known for without letting the somewhat ridiculous imagery they are also known for overly influence the music.
The opening “Drag Me Down” doesn’t exactly grab you and pin you down to listen, but as it builds there is a certain confidence in the musicianship that leads the way into the rest of the album. By the third track “Dirty Love” the band even sounds, dare I say it, more mature? The pace is slower, accounting for the heavier riffs, but I think Trixter worked better with the lighter, friskier songs like those on their 1992 album Hear!. The next song, “Machine”, rings with this era thanks to Mark Scott‘s flamboyant drumming and Steve Brown‘s restless guitar work — the solo, however, will make those with doubts about Trixter reaffirm their vows. At first, I was pleased to hear the retained western sound on the ballad “Live For The Day”, but it ends up coming out too bland and mellow. The remaining tracks on New Audio Machine I find lacking in structure, leaving the listener either lost or bored by their similarity.
This new effort isn’t the best Trixter has produced, but neither is it something to be immediately discarded. I was hoping for more — especially something more Trixter-esque — but you have to admire the band’s guts for moving away from their signature sound a little I think. New Audio Machine won’t be my album of the year due to the second half, but I’m not going to put it at the back of the CD cabinet just yet.
Reviewed by JJ Lee for Sleaze Roxx, May 2012