Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: Trixter “New Audio Machine”

Formed in Paramus, New Jersey during 1983, Trixter nealy arrived a bit too late to capitalize on the ever expanding melodic rock scene in 1990. With their big hair and youthful anthems, Trixter had no trouble breaking into the mainstream with hits like “Give It To Me Good” and “One In A Million”, and soon found themselves touring with heavyweights like The Scorpions, Poison, and Kiss. Their follow-up effort, “Hear!” showed maturity, containing more complex melodies and arrangements, but the record was destined to be more of a cult classic than a commercial success since grunge had taken over the musical landscape. Trixter released of an independent covers album before calling it quits in 1995. Some of the members released solo projects, including the pop punkish band 40 Ft Ringo and the more power pop outfit, Stereo Fallout.

Fast forward to 2007 and we see the band reuniting to perform some gigs – it wasn’t long before aspirations to record a new record emerged. The band wanted to create a classic melodic hard rock album with great songs, big guitar riffs, catchy vocals and a huge bottom end. To meet their goal, the boys collaborated with Glen Burtnik (Styx) and Snake Sabo and Rachel Bolan of Skid Row to write songs for “New Audio Machine”.

The 2012 lineup features Pete Loran on lead vocals and guitar, Steve Brown on lead guitar, P.J. Farley on bass and Gus Scott on drums. “We take pride in the fact that we are one of the few bands of our genre that have all original members,” says Brown.

“New Audio Machine” definitely sounds like a proper third record from Trixter, although it contains welcome sonic updates. Fans of Stereo Fallout will also appreciate some of the more power pop cuts. The first single off the new album, “Tattoos and Misery” engages the rock fan immediately with thick riffs that lead up to a trademark Trixter chorus – a good choice to introduce folks to the band’s sound. “Drag Me Down” leads off with a bluesy, Blue Murder-like acoustic riff before kicking into high gear with roaring guitars. There’s also the obligatory homage to rock ‘n’ roll on the energetic “Save Your Soul”.

The best moments for me come on the mid-tempo tracks or ballads. While terribly clichéd, “Live For The Day” and “ The Coolest Thing” are guilty pleasures for sure. I also thought the album’s upbeat closer, “Walk With A Stranger” was a great storytelling piece with a healthy message and driving rhythm. There’s a handful of misses on “New Audio Machine”, that take place usually when the band degenerates into juvenile lyrics and tired jams (e.g. “Physical Attraction”, “Dirty Love”, “Machine”). But overall, I think this album is going to be a welcome treat for Trixter fans.

Trixter – Official site.

Check out the video for "Tattoos and Misery"

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