KICK AXE – Welcome To The Club [Rock Candy remastered] (2016)
We already featured here the first album from Canadians KICK AXE, awesomely remastered by Rock Candy Records. Now it’s time for the band’s following records. “Welcome To The Club” is Kick Axe’s second effort, another fine piece of hard rocking ’80s stuff.
The mid-80s was an extremely healthy time for hard rock / 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 skillful.
Several of them were going global, such as Rush, Triumph and Helix, but it was at a grass roots level that the real impact was being felt, with Kick Axe being at the sharp end of this new wave of maple leaf classic hard rock.
Following on the heels of their debut album Kick Axe got right back in the saddle with a well crafted follow up titled “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 a cleaner production and arrangements that push Kick Axe into more radio-friendly territory.
George Criston’s vocals are smoother, the guitar riffs more melodic and the overall sound crafted with a commercial sheen.
Issued in 1985, the record received, quite rightly, solid critical praise as it contains a brace of killer tracks, including the catchy ‘Feel The Power’, ‘Hellraisers’ and ‘Make Your Move’. The title cut is a really strong rocker, and ‘Comin’ After You’ help broaden the band’s sonic palette.
‘Too Loud… Too Old’ is another highlight, an anthem to all the kids whose parents hated the volume and the metal but put up with it anyway.
The album closes with a surprisingly serious rendition of ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ done in a quite bombastic typical ’80s style, featuring backing vocals contributions from the cream of the Canadian scene including Rik Emmett (Triumph), Alfie Zappacosta, Andy Curran (Coney Hatch), Lee Aaron, Cindy Valentine and many more.
Along with Helix, Killer Dwarfs and Anvil, Kick Axe were at the vanguard of popular Canadian hard rock / metal in the mid-Eighties, such as it was at that time. Not many in this country were doing it, but boy, they were doing it well. This album rocks… hard.
Kick Axe’s “Welcome To The Club” never sounded better thanks to this punchy Rock Candy remaster, and if you still have inside some of that young boy rebellion from yesteryear, crank it to 11 and make your neighbors notice.
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
George Criston – lead vocals
Larry Gillstrom – guitars, keyboards
Raymond Harvey – guitars, backing vocals
Victor Langen – bass guitar, keyboards
Brian Gillstrom – drums
Randy Bishop – percussion, keyboards
Spencer Proffer – percussion, keyboards, producer
Rik Emmett, Alfie Zappacosta, Lee Aaron, John Albani, Andy Curran, Sharon Alton, Cindy Valentine, Brian Allen, Ava Cherry, Paris, Bob Segarini, Cameron Hawkins – vocals on track 10
BUY IT !