"IV" (Song Haus)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Kick Axe's first full-length album, "Vices," was released over twenty years ago in 1984. "IV," their latest CD, sounds like it could have come from that era as well. That's either good or bad depending on whether you're a fan of the band, a fan of the era or none of the above.

"IV" is radio friendly AOR that plays more like a Journey album than anything else. It's full of rock that may not kick your ass but will keep you entertained for its entirety. Headbanging material it's not, although a couple of tracks come close (i.e., "Who Says" and "Rock'n'Roll Dog.")

"IV" may not be the fiery comeback of a popular 80s band, but it's solid enough to do its job. It could have been leaner and meaner simply by excluding a couple of its too many tracks (14 total, several of which seem like unnecessary padding) but I always hesitate to suggest bands deliver less music instead of more.

Kick Axe fans will be most pleased here. It's as though their favorite band never went away.

Kick Axe: Gary Langen - lead vocals, additional drumming and percussion; Larry Gillstrom - lead guitar, acoustic guitar, background vocals; Raymond Harvey - lead guitar, slide guitar, harmony vocals; Brian Gillstrom - drums, background vocals; Victor Langen - bass guitar, background vocals. Also performing on "IV" are Laurel Aura - background vocals; Eric Norman - harmonica; T'Narg Ruthra - Hammond Organ.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Apr 2022 15:56:16 -0400.