You know how Kurt Cobain killed Hair Metal? Of course you know; we’ve been through this already. He didn’t. Yes folks, it’s time for your second dose of hair metal in under a month! You see, while AMG has been distracted dealing with Steel Druhm’s incessant efforts to inject more Jorn onto the site by any means necessary, I’ve launched my own elaborately coiffured campaign to restyle Angry Metal Guy into the far more fabulous Hair Metal Guy. Bit of a shame my first sleaze review was of an album that lacked the hairspray to get the mutiny going, but I enjoyed Crazy Lixx’s debut New Religion, even if follow-up Riot Avenue was less impressive. I had high hopes that their new self-titled album would be the record to kickstart the heart of the cock rock revolution.
Crazy Lixx are another Swedish sleaze revivalist group, and sound exactly like you would expect them to. Take a base of Skid Row, add some Mötley Crüe attitude, a pinch of Europe’s pop-sheen and Def Leppard’s penchant for an anthemic chorus, package it in a shiny modern production job, then give it a ridiculous name and silly hairdo. The album starts as it means to go on with “Hell Raising Women:” simple, catchy hooks matching simple, catchy lyrics – nothing new to hear, but fun all the same. They wisely get the only ballad on the album, “Outlaw,” out of the way early, and it’s not all that bad, even picking up the pace towards the end (take note, Midnight Sin). Other highlights include the well-written Crüe/Leppard hybrid “All Looks, No Hooks,” “I Missed the Mark” with its The Darkness-esque verse riff and cheesetacular Edguy-ish chorus, and inevitable crowd pleaser “Girls of the 80’s.” As you can tell from the song titles, there is absolutely zero depth to this record, but that’s exactly the point.
Superficiality is fine, but when your songs are also deeply unoriginal, it helps to have something extra up your sleeve – especially when your music hasn’t progressed at all since your debut album. The particular mix of influences and style of songwriting Crazy Lixx have gone for makes them sound an awful lot like their compatriots, Crashdïet – compare, for instance, “Sound of the Loud Minority” with Crashdïet’s “Generation Wild.” I wouldn’t want to accuse them of being Crashdïet copyists when both bands borrow so liberally from their mutual influences, but it’s rather unfortunate for Crazy Lixx that both their formation date and album releases lag behind Crashdïet’s by about two years. It’s also unfortunate for them that Crashdïet do it all a bit better, both musically and aesthetically.
OK, enough about Crashdïet – let’s address Crazy Lixx’s production, which is, sadly, yet another brick-walled wonder. This is most obvious on ballad “Outlaw,” where the “quiet” verses are so heavily compressed that there is zero impact when the “loud” choruses come in. The clipping is apparent at various points across the record, but seems particularly pronounced on this track. The album runs for 49 minutes – not excessive, but on the lengthy side for this style – and by the end my ears were suffering major fatigue.
Crazy Lixx is a decent hair metal album containing some fine songs – but it’s no advance on their previous material and suffers from a lack of fresh ideas, a horribly compressed production, and unavoidable comparisons to their superior competition. Not quite the record to accelerate my follicular insurrection at AMG, then. When’s the next Crashdïet album out? [And when is that Jorn and Nickelback project coming out? – Steel Druhm].