[published]: 2004, September
[in]: Melodic Net
[article]: 'Kick Axe IV' album review
[by]: Juha Harjula

The Canadian hardrockers Kick Axe are back with 14 brand new tracks. The group released 3 albums between 1983 and 1987 on CBS/Sony.

In 2000 and 2001 the SongHaus/Rewind (Sony) label re-issued the first two Kick Axe albums on CD. Their third album "Rock The World" has become a rare collectors item and will maybe see the light of day next year and will not cost you a fortune to get a copy.

This new album continues very much the same components of melodic hardrock that Kick Axe was known for. But I have to say that they have never sounded this good. I have not been a bigger fan of their earlier albums but now they have written great songs with crunchy guitars, strong vocal harmonies and a big sound. But singer George Criston is not in the band because of due to long-term commitments with Nettwork artists DIDO, Avril Lavigne and Sarah MacLaughlin. So on "IV" they have got their original singer Gary Langen back.

The sound is typical Canadian and has touches of Von Groove, Phil Naro and Triumph in the sound with of course the typical Kick Axe sound.

I think that 14 songs are a couple too many because there are some songs that don't reach the top and could have been left out.

"Turn To Stone" is a great hardrockin song with crunchy guitars with brilliant melodies and strong background vocals. The Von Groove-ish rocker "Rockin Daze" is brilliant with George singing his heart out with great feeling and it contains heavy rockin guitarriffs.

On the track "Do You Know" features a dual drummer rhythm section that makes the drumsound awesome but the song is plain and weak.

The standout track on the album is "Time". This is a winner for every fan of Canadian melodic hardrock. This is an awesome stadium rocker with a powerful chorus that includes impressive background vocals that lifts up this song to a higher level.

Songs like "Who Knows Ya", "Slip Inside My Dreams" and "Rock n Roll Dog" could have been left out of this album. They are boring and weak and don't have anything to contribute to this album.

I have to say that this new album from Kick Axe was a pleasant surprise and is really enjoyable. The production is top-notch and it sounds great. Nearly 14 years of wait is over for the fans of Kick Axe and they have managed to record a strong comeback album.