Kix (Atlantic) 1981
1. "Atomic Bombs"
Really not sure what to say about this one. The music and lyrics are sort of a mix of late 70's pop metal (Kiss, Cheap Trick) but with an almost simplistic punk attitude like the Ramones. Hearing this disc for the first time after being familiar with "Blow My Fuse" and "Hot Wire" I can see how much this band matured and progressed with each album. Found this disc in excellent condition for $1.99.
Kix - Cool Kids (Atlantic) 1983
The most memorable part of this album is the video as seen of Beavis and Butthead. I remember Beavis or Butthead watching the video for 'Cool Kids' and remarking "Uh, I'd hate to see the Un-cool kids." This CD is a lot different from Kix's other albums. In my opinion this one has a bit of a new wave edge to it and is far weaker than anything that would follow it, or even the band's debut. Is it possible to have new wave metal? "Cool" kids is sort of poppy, like the band couldn't decide if they wanted to rock or be Duran Duran. Thankfully, from this point on they decided to rock!
Kix - Midnite Dynamite (Atlantic)1985
1. "Midnite Dynamite"
Enter Ratt producer Beau Hill and Kix move from the pop rock of their first two discs to a more dynamic, metallic style of party metal. Another big factor in the improved style and sound on 'Midnight Dynamite is becauce Ronnie Younkins' re-joined the band. Alongside Brian Forsythe, they embodied a perfect hard rockin' blues/metal guitarist duet. Add to the formula the screaming vocals and Ronnie's leads and you have a formula for one of the finest melodic metal bands to come out of the 80's. Unfortunately for the band, this album didn't break open doors like it could have. Not sure if it was for a lack of promotion or bad timing or what, because it certainly isn't for bad songwriting. "Midnight Dynamite" is at least as good as anything released by the likes of Ratt and Quiet Riot, who were selling platinum at this point. Favorite tracks: "Midnite Dynamite," "Layin' Rubber," and "Cold Shower".
There were a ton of bands doing the L.A. (although they're East Coast dudes) pomp, glam metal, Aerosmith/AC/DC wanna-be stuff in the late 80's. Of the genre Kix was one of the better bands. Unfortunately, they were never able to make the "big time" like other less worthy bands (cough, cough, Poison, cough) despite their infectious, well written songs. The ballad "Don't Close Your Eyes" was a hit for the band, the only one in their long catalog, helping the record to achieve gold. Sort of a shame as Kix's party pop metal holds up better than many of the bands who were selling millions in 1988. (In August of 2000 Blow My Fuse was certified Platinum according to the RIAA database.)
Kix - Hot Wire (Eastwest Records America) 1991
1. "Hot Wire"
More AC/DC inspired party metal. I dunno, I guess any true metalhead is suppose to hate this stuff, or at least pretend they hate it, but it's just so darn catchy. "Hot Wire" is very similar to "Blow My Fuse." Not sure why these guys weren't hugely popular since this type of stuff was the trend in 1991. They had the chops, the hooks, the big label backing. Hmm, I guess they just weren't cute enough.
Kix - Live (Atlantic) 1993
1. "Hot Wire"
Despite being labeled posers, Kix put on a fun and energetic live set. I've never been priveleged to see these guys live, but from listening to this disc, I can tell they put on one heck of a show. This was their last major label release.
KIX - Show Business (CMC International) 1995
1. "Ball Baby"
By 1995, any bands that survived from the "hair metal" era were retreating to smaller, independent labels and were either modifying their sound to follow the trends, which at the time was grunge, or were sticking to their guns despite the trends. Kix went the respectable route of sticking to their guns. There is not even a hint of grunge here. As far as I am concerned, despite their lack of success over the years, Kix have always had one up on most other pop metal bands, with a mix of styles that ranges from funky to raucous heavy metal to an almost Ramones-like punk edge. Despite the length of time between albums, "Show Business" pretty much picks up where "Hotwire" left off, although I think this one may be a bit more raw like their earlier discs. "Ball Baby," a heavy party metal anthem, gets the party started and things cruise a sleazy mile from there. "Fireballs" borrows heavily from AC/DC's "TNT", but then that has been the basis for Kix's sound since their inception. Likewise, "Put My Money Where Your Mouth Is" has an AC/DC flare to it as well. "Book to Hypnotize", "9-1-1" and "Baby Time Bomb" are also standout cuts.