CRAZY LIXX – Riot Avenue [Frontiers remastered reissue +4] (2018)
While waiting for the new CRAZY LIXX album, the band and Frontiers Music decided it was finally time to properly reissue the band’s debut album, remastered and adding seven bonus tracks. At the same time, the first – long out-of-print – two releases for the Frontiers label, “New Religion” and “Riot Avenue” are being reissued with the addition of bonus material too.
For the first time, those releases will also be made available on limited vinyl editions too.
“Riot Avenue” is another stupendous album by Crazy Lixx. The band added some ‘dirt’ to their music on this album. The huge ’80s influenced arena sound is still here, but this time around there is an element of toughness to the band that was getting washed away with slick sounds and production — in other words, the band has added more ‘rock’ to their ‘roll’.
So what we get from “Riot Avenue” is the best Crazy Lixx has to offer, a disc that raises the stakes yet again in the crowded Swedish rock scene.
One change you’ll instantly notice is how the guitars have taken over the Crazy Lixx sound, as Andy Dawson feeds off new member Edd Liam for a furious twin attack — listening to Riot Avenue makes you wonder why the band didn’t add a second shredder years ago.
The duo flails away from beginning to end, adding more meat to the bones of the signature Crazy Lixx sound. And that sound is still over-the-top ’80s melodic hard rock, only now with a heavier and more captivating direction.
There are still elements of Def Leppard here, but throughout several songs you can picture Paul Stanley of KISS licking his finger in ecstasy. Probably the hardest thing for the band regarding this album was choosing the first single, as several are worthy of that distinction, but they went with the safe “In The Night” — a choice as good as any.
“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”, a hard-hitting opener that takes you back to the “Heroes Are Forever” days, starts us off while “Young Blood” continues the trend of offering scorching hard rock with massive melodies, but even better yet is the title track — the type of song that Gene Simmons would sell his children for.
I’m not a religious man by any means, however listening to “Church Of Rock” had me looking for the collection plate, “Heatseeker” in turn counters it perfectly with a darker bottom end and “Sweet, Bad & Beautiful” has hit single written all over it thanks to its sing-a-long chorus.
“Only The Dead Know” slow things for a great midtempo atmosphere.
As bonus we have the quite hard to find original Japan edition bonus track “Red Hot, Red Blooded”, new versions of “Riot Avenue (Acoustic Version)” and “Fire It Up (Acoustic Version)”, and the standalone single “Sympathy”, all great stuff for collectors.
For Crazy Lixx, going back to their roots and adding a second guitarist were strokes of genius — I knew the band had this kind of album in them. “Riot Avenue” is a killer CD, and this remastered reissue the one to have.
01 – Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
02 – Young Blood
03 – Riot Avenue
04 – Fire It Up
05 – Downtown
06 – In the Night
07 – Church of Rock
08 – Heatseeker
09 – Sweet, Bad & Beautiful
10 – Be Gone
11 – Only the Dead Know
12 – Red Hot, Red Blooded
13 – Riot Avenue (Acoustic Version)
14 – Fire It Up (Acoustic Version)
15 – Sympathy
Danny Rexon – vocals
Andy Dawson – guitar
Edd Liam – guitar
Loke Rivano – bass
Joey Cirera – drums