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CRAZY LIXX Two Shots At Glory

By Terry Martinson, Contributor
Monday, March 4, 2024 @ 10:32 AM


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CRAZY LIXX
Two Shots At Glory

Frontiers Music Sri




Warning. What you are about to read is a glaringly positive review on a bad a$$ band that many are quite familiar with, but I am a casual (well, kind of, my focus is usually unknowns, but I do a far deeper dive herein than other lazy pontificator's I have seen online recently) and although I have heard a song or 2 and subsequently forgotten them, doing this review has reconfirmed why CRAZY LIXX should garner your attentions and why I should go to their site, buy t-shirt and try to acquire the back catalog. It is befitting that my re-familiarization/introduction to the band is their 2024 release Two Shots At Glory, a perfect title for a compilation release of the bands previous 20+ years of hard rocking wares (more on this as that statement is not entirely accurate). A kind of greatest hits, but a more band preferred songs, not the obvious fan faves. Deeper cuts if you will, plus 3 brand new shiny songs! Kind of.

For those, like me, who are "newer" to CRAZY LIXX, here is a little stroll down memory lane. The spark of what would become CRAZY LIXX was ignited way back in 2002, and the band released their debut Loud Minority in 2007. The lineup did a small shuffle and stayed static until 2015 when both guitarists exited stage left. The news was fairly impactful and the band's future was certainly in question. Fortunately that was not to be and the band landed 2 new brilliant players, solidifying the long standing and current lineup we see today. A line up so talented that they could record themselves popping their knuckles and it would (should) go platinum.

As for this commemorative release of oldies but goodies, Two Shots At Glory doesn't however cherry pick all that much from from the bands 7 studio albums, but focuses primarily on the 2012's Riot Avenue (5 songs) and a couple from 2014's self titled release. Not a single hint of a track from the band's last 3 releases, Street Lethal (2021), Forever Wild (2019), and Ruff Justice (2017). Nor anything from Loud Minority (2007). And technically the inclusion of "Lights Out!", although recorded for 2010's New Religion, never saw the light of day (officially) until the Frontiers re-issue in 2018. Still this version, like the other re-pops, has been tweaked, and tweaked for the better if you are asking me. While we are on this tangent it is worth noting that "Sympathy" is in a similar canoe to "Lights Out!", being recorded for the 2014 Self-Titled, only to be issued as a digital only pre-release single, that is until Frontiers re-issued the Self-Titled in 2018 and included the original version of the "Sympathy" single.

While we are on the topic of the "re-recorded" songs, I will divulge, and this is after listening to the original recordings, that these re-pops are superior. Now, now, relax a minute. Let me explain why. Although ALL the originally recorded versions of "Fire It Up", "Lights Out!", "Whisky Tango Foxtrot", "Ain't No Rest in Rock n Roll", "In The Night", "Only The Dead Know", and "Church of Rock" were groundbreaking, considering the time of there release, and the fact that a handful of twenty somethings from Sweden were doing 80's hard rock better than the bands did it back in the 80's, the re-pops add such a massive Mutt Lange-ish production, monster DEF LEPPARD-meets-TIGERTAILZ-"Berzerk" 72-track layered gang backing vocals, and the solos (SMH), these recordings are just better. Let's tangent and think about what WHITECROSS did in their re-recording of their quintessential and criminally underappreciated debut 1987 self-titled album, that in 2005 Rex, Scott and company re-recorded the whole album, called it Nineteen Eighty-Seven and it is stunning. They captured all of the missing, under produced elements that when you look back were desperately missing. Well CRAZY LIXX did the same on Two Shots At Glory, but did so in a slightly different manner, compilation versus a whole album re-recording.

So aside from the previously released songs, CRAZY LIXX hits us full fist in the yob with 3 new songs, well 2 new to us and one, a cover of an old and long forgotten 1980's song, originally penned by Paul Stanley, Bruce Kulick and Desmond Child for KISS' 1987 Crazy Nights. This song would eventually become a single released in 1989 by the German hard rock band BONFIRE. It was recorded during the sessions for BONFIRE's third studio album, Point Blank, not landing on the album, but the song would appear in the Wes Craven movie, Shocker. Although I enjoyed BONFIRE's version, CRAZY LIXX's re-recording is (although a note for note cover) benefits from the 2024 production. Of note, when you listen to "Sword And Stone", it is (at times) a note for note rip of Ronnie James Dio's and Viv Cambell's 1986 Hear N Aid song "Stars". While we are on this topic of "influences", CRAZY LIXX certainly has worn their influence on their sleeves and included these influences within many of the old songs on Two Shots At Glory. "Fire It Up" has all the "Woah oh woah oh's" from every BON JOVI song written. "Lights Out!" could be mistaken at times for MOTLEY CRUE's "Kickstart My Heart". "Only The Dead Know" could easily transition into SCORPIONS' "Still Loving You". Even the new song "Two Shots At Glory" sounds quite similar to BLACK TORA's masterclass of a song "Never Enough" from 2012. Two Shots At Glory as a whole is very reminiscent to me of Y&T's Contagious and TWISTED SISTER's Love Is For Suckers. A pair of really solid 80's hard rock albums, with perfect playing, solid songwriting and those mega chorus' and massive productions.

All that prattle aside, CRAZY LIXX is a damn good, dare I say great band. Their 1980 sensibilities, musical proficiencies, and period perfect prowess (yep, that is an alliteration kids) affords the band an open ticket to write period perfect rock n roll. Or they could do 2 fistfuls of period cover albums, probably doing so better than the originals. Or my favorite idea for the band, following suit with their new video series of "UST-Unofficial Soundtrack" videos, CRAZY LIXX could do a number of albums rocking up all those classic soundtrack songs. They already started that series with "Sword And Stone", and could easily add to it with say, "Danger Zone". "Back In Time", Et al. I would love to see a deeper dive on the covers with say something from the underappreciated Light of Day, Black Rose, Trick or Treat, or for those uber geeks like me, Thunder Alley and the band SURGICAL STEEL.

Two Shots At Glory is a solid standalone album. Introducing the masses to the band and maybe more importantly, reinvigorating the algorithms on the streaming platforms to the bands back catalog, while showcasing some new material and affording the listener the opportunity to have a few singles that were really hard to come by on a physical format before on vinyl or CD. Heck the Frontier re-issues are out of print and command stupid money from the resellers. So do go and support CRAZY LIXX, buy the new record, a bad ass retro t-shirt and rock out with your socks out!

4.0 Out Of 5.0

https://www.facebook.com/crazylixx
https://www.crazylixx.com/


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