on 28 April 2012
I've always been a fan of Trixter, right from the moment I bought their first album without ever hearing a single song on it before purchase.
During the late 80s/early 90s they were one of those bands that were unfairly knocked (much like Winger) as a style over substance band because they were, in the eyes of the jaded writers and readers of the likes of Kerrang etc, a bunch of light weight pretty boys.
To actually say this shows a kind of ignorance of the rock and metal genre, and the kind of single minded attitude that many rock fans had back in the day (if you liked Maiden, you couldnt like anything as soft as Poison, and if you liked Bon Jovi, Megadeth was a load of old noise etc).
Trixter were one of those bands like Nelson that were not what you would call heavy, but certainly knew how to write hook laden songs that easily stuck in your head.
The debut had that hair/glam metal style mixed with a lighter AOR style, which is probably why even the glam and AOR camps seemed to dismiss them somewhat.
Of course, anyone with any kind of taste and common sense would look beyond pigeon holing bands and just enjoy a band for their music. I for one was in that camp and thought Trixter stood proudly alongside my favourite bands like Crue, Poison, Warrant & LA Guns etc, all different but all melodic rockers.
The second album, Hear was a slap in the face to anyone who called them lightweight. Ok, they didnt suddenly become heavy metallers over night, but they certainly beefed up their sound with something that certainly moved more over into the hair metal camp and away from the lighter AOR stylings.
Sadly, this came right around the time Kurt Cobain and his grubby shoe staring cohorts took the world by storm with the aptly named grunge movement, and saw pretty much the death of the 80s hair metal, glam metal, AOR and trad metal scene, or at least sent it into hiding.
Trixter recorded an independently released covers album/EP then called it quits.
Thankfully though, for years many of these bands still slogged away trying to prove that you didnt have to be miserable to produce rock music, which also paved way for a whole new bunch of bands to come along who owed more to the glory days of the 80s than the gloomy days of the 90s.
This has also lead to a whole dearth of older bands reforming with or without original members.
Of course this lead to a Trixter reunion back in 2008, which lead to a tour, live album (with two new studio tracks) and a best of compilation.
Finally though, in 2012 we finally have an all new studio album.
Upon first listen this is certainly a lot more like Hear than it is like the debut, and anyone who was a fan of that album will be totally hooked into this album right from the opening song.
The album is full of hooks, as one would expect from the band, and is surprisingly devoid of any modern elements despite the tradition with many of these older bands mixing old with new to create something new. Its also surprising when you consider the output from some of the members since the original demise of the band.
The production on here is sterling, and the band sounds like they recorded this almost straight after they finished recording Hear as Pete Loran sounds just as he did back in the day.
I do wonder if some of these songs are old reworked demos though, as I know at least one is (strangely though, its not a Trixter demo, but an old Skid Row demo "Walk with a stranger"), but thats no bad thing anyway.
Only let down for me is the tacking on of an acoustic version of Heart of steel as a bonus track, as it would have been much nicer to get another new song instead (leave the acoustic songs for EP's and single b-sides please).
Overall this album has brought a very big smile to my face, especially after the somewhat underwhelming comeback album from Tyketto which came out at the same time.
Welcome back Trixter, lets do this again next year!
on 6 May 2012
TRIXTER were formed in Paramus, New Jersey in 1983 and their first live steps were in small clubs around their hometown with unknown bands then like Skid Row and KIX. The big step in their career came in 1990 with their debut self-titled album. They managed to sign-up a good record deal with Mechanic / MCA, they achieved to have two hit singles, both at # 1 chart position, and eventually "Trixter" album went gold! Not bad for these young boys!
The band toured nationally during 1990-91 with big 'names' of that era such as Scorpions, Warrant and Poison. The second album with the catchy title "Hear" did not take long and it was released in October 1992 and Trixter went on tour with KISS. Unfortunately, the change of musical events (see grunge etc.) made it impossible for the band to continue with other releases and after the release of a covers album with the band split in 1995.
So, the band reunited in 2007 and since then is on the road in several concerts, culminating in their participation in the Rocklahoma festival in 2008. Over these last two years, the band decided to take the time to record and release a new album. New songs but with the desicion that the basic sound is what they fans want to hear!! Strong arrangements, catchy choruses and powerful guitar work! At this point it must be said that in the new album we have the valuable help, in the writing part, from names such as Glen Burtnik (STYX) and Snake Sabo and Rachel Bolan of SKID ROW.
The "New Audio Machine" begins with a typical American Trixter track, " Drag Me Down ". Smart orchestrations, fantastic guitar work and in general all seem to the perfect opener and prepare us for whats coming-up next! The next tune," Get On It " is the kinda of the song that stay in your mind from the first listen and makes you press the repeat button again and again!! Amazing song! In" Dirty Love "and " Machine" we have two pure heavy rock diamonds that could well be located in any of the first two Trixter's albums. In "Live For The Day" we have the first 'quiet' tune of the album. Nice melody and very good performances in this wonderful song. In "Ride" the band rocks again while in "Physical Attraction" we have the first filler of "New Audio Machine". Of the remaining tracks everything flows at the same more or less high levels while the "Walk With A Stranger" is one of the highlights here!
One of the pleasant surprises of 2012 is the "New Audio Machine" of Trixter. There is no doubt about it! The guys achieve to manage and 'put' in this album all the magic of 80's, early 90's, with a new fresh air and the result is this exciting effort that will fascinate any fan of melodic hard rock! One of the best albums so far and surely is aiming high among the top ten list of 2012!
HeavyParadise's Rating : 8/10