[published]: 1986, May
[in]: Kerrang!, No. 121, p. 16
[article]: 'Welcome to the Club' album review
[by]: Derek Oliver

Comin' atcha like a wacko combination of Canadians Goddo and Max Webster, Kick Axe have dumped their formula cock-rock for a leap into the artful world of creativity. They've made a better record for it too, long way short of what was really expected.

Produced, once again, by Spencer Proffer, 'Welcome to the Club' makes extensive and extraordinary use of weirdly complex arrangements and futuristic production. Expect the unexpected is the best way to describe the material, and by the time you hit the second side you'll either love it or hate it. I love it, but then I'm a sucker for strange things...

Sparking off the imagination is one thing but spiralling outta control is another. Here we never get the chance to fully appreciate Kick Axe's fine ability to riff with the best of 'em - it's all a little too disjointed. Sometimes like early (operatic) Queen, but with far heavier production, the songs twist 'n' turn with unbelievable dexterity ... but unlike Queen there is no real longevity.

Watertight numbers such as 'Feels Good, Don't Stop (funky), 'Make Your Move' (rocky) and 'Hellraisers' (metally) mix with far less serious statements like 'Too Loud, Too Old' (tongue firmly in cheek) and 'Welcome to the Club' (lyrically thought-provoking). Yet it's the (Joe Cocker) classic 'With A Little Help From My Friends' that emerges as the oddest contender.

Given an amazing epic production, the song features a plethora of guests - Alfie Zappacosta (ex-Surrender), Rik Emmett (Triumph), Lee Aaron, Sheron Alton and Brian Allen (both ex-Toronto) and Cindy Valentine.

Choppy, complex and fragmented, Kick Axe have not exactly disappointed their public so much as spun off at an unexpected angle. I'll give 'em full marks for being brave enough to go for it, but when you've got bands like Zebra who do it far better why settle for the Second Division?

Third time lucky? Maybe.