Kick Axe is a Vancouver band, with management in Winnipeg, Man., that records in Los Angeles, Calif. It has hit the big time.
It is made up of five rowdy guys who wear real cool gear and, I suppose, "party" all the time. It has album cover graphics to match the heavy metal heavyweights'. It has loud guitars and drums. It has high-pitched vocals. It has "rebellion."
Given that it has all these attributes , and that those attributes are what Heavy Metal audience wants to hear, Kick Axe should, any minute, be hoisted onto leather-and-chrome-clad shoulders to be borne into the homes and stadiums of the land. Shouldn't they? Well, why not?
Mainly because Kick Axe isn't convincing. I can't believe that they are truly furious and unleashed to create havoc.
When you consider that every city in North America has at least one up-and-coming Heavy Metal band, and that some are far more convincing than Kick Axe, you realize that Kick Axe is going to be left eating their dust.
Couple that with the fact Kick Axe is Canadian, and you can write them off. Only when a Canadian band can sincerely beat the pants off a U.S. competitor can it win the popularity battle (even the Canucks who have made it in the U.S.A. are "closet Canadians," of "necessity").
Trying not to hear the lack of energy and believability, we listen to the record. We hear not songs, but clots of cliches. Only the lead track, "Heavy Metal Shuffle," has a ring of originality to it - and then only because of the irregular structure and sound effects that make it almost a novelty song.
We hear plenty of chunky guitar, and massive doses of guitar solo. Bundles of abrasive vocals (offensive-abrasive, that is) and a pounding beat that's sure to bowl us over as it whumps out of our speakers, pushing air in front of it. Great blats of music fill the room. Then, the album over, we leave as we came.