[published]: 1986, January 24
[in]: (New York) Daily News, p. 16
[article]: Heavy Metal Remains Solid
[by]: Hugh Wyatt

Welcome to the Club

This new yarn by the Canadian-based band Kick Axe demonstrates the importance of metal in uplifting certain songs that are basically Top 40 pablum. For example, the quality of "Hellraisers", one of the worst tunes on the album because of its cliches and overall predictability, is greatly elevated as a result of the imaginative work of guitarist Larry Gillstrom, who gives in the old metal one-two-three feeling.

The sound of that one tune or some of the other 11 cuts, however, is not to suggest that the album is mediocre; it is not. In fact, there is sufficient balance achieved between the principles of mainstream melody and metal madness throughout the recording that makes it basically a winner. The most noteworthy feature here, however, is the band's firm grasp of rhythm and avoidance of choppy pulsations usually found among metal outfits.

This album has a lot of going for it, but my big interest is in the band's solid performances on the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends" and the original composition "Never Let Go", a sensitive ballad with a fine vocal delivery by George Criston, who is definitively someone to watch. The music here cannot be described as heavy, but more surprisingly as light metal - the kind that needs further attention and acceptance in the pop-music arena.