Kick Axe – Welcome to the Club (1985)

KickAxe_WelcomeClub4 out of 5 Stars!

I always felt this sorely overlooked band from Canada was special among its ’80s peers. Kick Axe was not a typical “hair band,” nor a typical Hard Rock act for that matter, but one with a talent for writing ultra-catchy, anthemic choruses yet always adding some strange instrumentation, some intriguing dynamics, to each track’s arrangement.

The band would occasionally incorporate odd breaks in its beefy “wall of sound,” insert guitar runs or drum fills or lush vocal harmonies or some bizarre sonic effect at unexpected times, keeping the listener always on the edge on their seats, wondering what exactly would come next. This is especially evident on the powerful debut album Vices, and to a lesser degree on this, the band’s sophomore release.

Additionally, the group possessed a terrific, wide-ranging vocalist in George Criston, who appeared on the trio of albums from the ’80s, and gave Kick Axe an added “zing.”

Unfortunately, the original group eventually disbanded in 1988, but reformed in 2003 to release one more album (with a new singer) the following year, of which I have yet to hear.

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