[published]: 1984, June 23
[in]: The (Allentown) Morning Call, p. 77
[article]: 'Vices' album review
[by]: Bob Sharpe

Here are two heavy metal bands with debut albums that sound pretty muchalike and which both have the basic five ingredients - two guitars, bass, drums and vocalist (and NO keyboards). Similarities and there, however, as Kick Axe is head and shoulders above icon, which is just barely able to tread water. Kick Axe really kicks behind, and doesn't stop kicking throughout "Vices."

This Canadian outfit meets all the requirements of tough, classic metal - dynamic, lunging rhythms, fiery and fast guitar work, and sweaty vocals - but also has sophisticated song structures, five-part harmonies and even some melodies. The best cuts are the anthems "Heavy Metal Shuffle" and "On the Road to Rock," which don't pretend to cater to the cerebral hard rocker. A vice worth cultivating.

A bunch of lipstick and eye shadow junkies from Phoenix, icon must have had heatstroke when they recorded their LP. These guys used the right amount of chaos, but they shamelessly steal not only most of the heavy metal musical cliches of the last decade, but some of the lyrics as well. Examples of their thievery, as well as the band's originality, are purloined phrases such as, "The stakes are high and so am I," swiped from Ted Nugent, and "Stand and be counted," lifted from Krokus. Boo, hiss.