[published]: 1986, March 7
[in]: Milwaukee Sentinel
[article]: Kick Axe Lives up to Its Name
[by]: Michael Pflughoeft

Welcome to the Club Kick Axe (Pasha)

With their kinetic, no-frills major label debut called "Vices," Kick Axe earned a spot atop the list of up-and-coming hard rock acts.

"Welcome to the Club," the second album by the Canadian quintet, proves that Kick Axe is for real. This is the best hard-rock record released in 1986. Kick Axe demonstrates remarkable growth as songwriters and musicians, but retains the exuberance of "Vices." Songs like the title track and "Feels Good - Don't Stop" are much more ambitious than anything on the debut record.

Milwaukee's George Criston (formerly Widule) is becoming one of hard rock's most distinctive vocalists. Here, Criston brings his raw vocal might under control and the results are devastating. The blistering guitar work of Larry Gillstrom and Raymond Arthur Harvey make every track a standout.

The album was recorded at the "Metalworks," a studio owned by Canadian rockers Triumph and designed for hard-rock recording. Using the facility to its fullest, the rhythm section of Victor Langen and Brian Gillstrom are solid anchors.

In addition to nine originals on "Welcome to the Club," the record contains a rousing cover of the Joe Cocker arrangement of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends," featuring a Canadian all-star lineup.