[published]: 1985, March
[in]: Loud and Clear, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 20-22, 44
[article]: 'Vices' album review
[by]: Tom Farrell

The Canadian quintet's debut album is a bit of a disappointment. Kick Axe does manage to pack a good old style rock and metal punch reminiscent of early Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, but for the most parts, "Vices" is a somewhat forgettable effort.

In a world of high pitched singers and electronically harmonized backup vocals, it's good to see a band as earthy and balls-out as Kick Axe is. They don't get drowned out in a sea of studio wizardry. Kick Axe are straight forward rockers who even look the part, but "Vices" won't win 'em any award.

Lead singer George Criston has a raw gut-wrenching voice that strikes up memories of Steve Tyler, but too often his singing falls to discord, guitarists Larry Gillstrom and Ray Arthur Harvey perform their guitar chores well without being particularly flashy. Bassist Victor Langen and drummer Brian Gillstrom pull the rhythm section along quite adequately, and Gillstrom displays some excellent drumming above and beyond the call of duty.

"Dreamin' About You" and "Maneater" are a credit to good songwriting, which unfortunately, doesn't grace the better part of "Vices". "On the Road to Rock" displays the bands high quality backing vocals, and Kick Axe's energy is highly apparent in "Cause for Alarm" and "Alive & Kickin'".

Don't completely write these guys off; they have a lot going for them and they display an incredible amount of enthusiasm. Not all bands make it on their first album, and I'm sure we'll be hearing better from these guys in the future.