[published]: 2016, November 22
[in]: Sleaze Roxx
[article]: Rock Candy Records reissue three Kick Axe albums
[by]: Olivier

Good news for Kick Axe fans as Rock Candy Records will be re-issuing three of the Canadian rockers' albums, namely Vices (1984), Welcome To The Club (1985) and Rock The World (1986).

Rock Candy Records describes the releases as follows:


Canadian rock has always been highly regarded amongst discerning heavy metal fans. In general, the quality of the craftsmanship, songwriting and playing is, in many respects, superior to any other country in the world, lending the acts an air of confidence and accomplishment that has always impressed. Kick Axe were, it must be said, one of the best Canadian hard rock acts that emerged during the early eighties, rubbing shoulders with other hot contenders such as Helix, Coney Hatch and Anvil to name but a few.

The Saskatchewan based five piece were initially formed by two brothers, that's Larry and Brian Gillstrom, together with bassist Victor Langen, all spurred on by the onslaught of British metal acts such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Their intention was to craft a unit that embraced all the cut and thrust of the original genre, while injecting their sound with a melodic and contemporary edge. Signing to CBS Records in Canada the band was then, surprisingly, taken under the wing of Pasha Records in the USA, home of multiplatinum sellers Quiet Riot.

Produced by Spencer Proffer (Quiet Riot, King Kobra, W.A.S.P.) and originally issued in 1984, the album contains a sterling selection of tracks that place the band center stage in the burgeoning mid 80s hard rock renaissance, and give vocalist George Criston room to impress at every turn. As a prime example of 24 Karat Canadian rock, 'Vices' takes no prisoners and lays down the law with focussed intent.

Special deluxe collector's edition, Fully remastered sound, Bonus track, 12 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay about the kick-axe-vicesmaking of the album, New interview and enhanced artwork.

Track Listing:
01. Heavy Metal Shuffle
02. Vices
03. Stay On Top
04. Dreamin' About You
05. Maneater
06. On The Road To Rock
07. Cause For Alarm
08. Alive & Kickin'
09. All The Right Moves
10. Just Passin' Through
Bonus Track:
11. 30 Days In The Hole


The mid 80s was an extremely healthy time for hard rock and heavy metal. It was also a prime era for Canadian acts, which seemed to be appearing at an alarming rate and all with one thing in common; they were consistently accomplished and uniquely skilful. Several of them were going global, such as Rush, Triumph and April Wine, but it was at a grass roots level that the kick-axe-photo-4real impact was being felt, with Kick Axe being at the sharp end of this new wave of maple leaf metal.

Following on the heels of their debut album, Kick Axe got right back in the saddle with a well-crafted follow up; 'Welcome To The Club', produced, once again, by Spencer Proffer (Quiet Riot, King Kobra, W.A.S.P.) and his, for this record, assistant Randy Bishop. It was a far more mature recording, exuding a new level of sophistication by bringing in to play the sort of sound being pioneered by artists such as Queensryche and Dio. They didn't, however, take their eyes off the prize, keeping brute force to the fore and all hands on the steering wheel.

Issued in 1985, the record received, quite rightly, solid critical praise as it contains a brace of killer tracks, including 'Feel The Power', 'Hellraisers', 'Make Your Move' and a surprising cover version of the Beatles' 'With A Little Help from My Friends' that features several prominent Canadian musicians, including members of Triumph, Coney Hatch, Toronto, Sheriff, and Lee Aaron.

Special deluxe collector's edition, Fully remastered sound, 12 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay about the making of the album, New interview and enhanced artwork.

Track Listing:
01. Welcome To The Club
02. Feels Good – Don't Stop
03. Comin' After You
04. Make Your Move
05. Never Let Go
06. Hellraisers
07. Can't Take It With You
08. Too Loud... Too Old
09. Feel The Power
10. With A Little Help From My Friends


The Canadian based quartet's brand of tough muscular rock secured them a firm and committed following but various factors kick-axe-photo-3had prevented them from commercially developing their unique abilities. The recording of 'Rock The World' showed that they could not only write great material but also refine their style of grandiose hard rock to reach its full potential.

Issued in 1986, the record features ten superlative tracks; from short sharp red hot rock to captivating widescreen epics such as 'We Still Remember', 'Magic Man' and 'Warrior', all emblazoned with grandiose arrangements, yet offering a firm power metal foundation. The production, handled by the band, is crisp and tight, giving no indication that they were forced to record the album on a shoestring budget. Truly, this is one of the rock world's best kept secrets, deserving of a place in any discerning collection.

Special deluxe collector's edition, Fully remastered sound, 12 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay about the making of the album, New interview and enhanced artwork.

Track Listing:
01. Rock The World
02. The Chain
03. Red Line
04. Devachan
05. Warrior
06. We Still Remember
07. Great Escape
08. Medusa
09. The Dark Crusade
10. Magic Man