[published]: 1984, October (?)
[in]: unidentified magazine
[article]: 'Vices' album review

KICK AXE 'Vices'
(Pasha Records BFZ39297) ****

AN EXPLOSIVE debut (as far as I know) from a Canadian five-piece who pull off the impossible by belying the crassness implied by both their name and the title of their album. No, it's not a concept album or anything as absurd as that: it's thundering hard rock at its best.

As phoney devil-worship has rapidly become an easy way for many aspiring HM bands (although this is more prevalent in LA ... talk about selling your soul for rock and roll) so the real rockers find themselves in a diminishing class.

Kick Axe join the elite with 'Vices', an album that is as entertaining as it is skull-crushingly heavy. I really enjoyed 'Heavy Metal Shuffle', 'Stay On Top', 'On the Road To Rock' and 'Alive and Kickin'' because, bar the obligatory sexist slant, the freshness and energy of their music strips away the traditional shortcomings of Canadian HM.

Again, that unmistakable transatlantic drum sound and those watertight rhythm moves earmark this as one of the finest hard rock albums I've heard for ages.

Unlike many debut albums, when one has to make token criticisms which embody minor doubts, I can unreservedly applaud Kick Axe's blistering entry into the crazy world of Big Time Rock.

Despite the name.

A Special WOAARGHH! of thanks to Mike Shannon and friends at Shades for review copies. All these records and more are available from Shades, 13 St Annes Court, London W1. Tel: 01-434 1363.