Trixter (MCA) 1990
1. Road Of A Thousand Dreams (4:06)
Trixter were one of those band's who came along at the tail end of pop-metal/hair-metal's popularity. Their self-titled 1990 album did gain the band a fair amount of success. Their follow-up, however, was mostly ignored in the dying days of this fun party-style of rock and roll. A quick search of reviews on-line reveals comments like "mediocre", "average" and one even said, "shit sandwich". However, popularity or the lack thereof is not a determining factor on whether an album in enjoyable to this music fan. "Hear!" is a fun, well-produced, melodic rock and roll album. It is overall slightly "tougher" sounding than the debut, which I am sure has to do with improved production. It's less sheen and more rock and roll. Songs like the up-beat "Rockin' Horse" and the dynamic "Road of a Thousand Dreams" are hooky sing-along numbers with meaty guitars. The lyrics aren't exactly rocket-science, "Come on baby, get on top of my rockin' horse". However, a band like Trixter aren't out to provoke deep though. It's all about good-times and rockin'. "Runaway Train" is a nice blues-based ballad that isn't so sappy that I feel the need to hit the skip button every time it comes on. On the other hand, "As The Candle Burns" is a nauseating paint-by-numbers ballad that I don't care for at all. "Hear!" is definitely not ground-breaking and I certainly wouldn't say it's one of the greatest rock and roll albums of all time. However, had "Hear!" been released in 1987 or so, it probably would have rivaled anything on the pop rock charts and is better than some of them.
1. Drag Me Down (3:59)
At the time of this release, it had been nearly 18 years since Trixter had released an album and over 20 years since they released an album of all new material. Suprisingly and despite the two decade time lapse, "New Audio Machine" sounds exactly like what anyone would want or expect from Trixter. The album is can be described as either up-tempo, good-time rockers ("Get It On", "Dirty Love", "Save Your Soul") or mid-tempo, melancholy ballads ("Live for the Day", "The Coolest Thing"). Thankfully the rockers outweigh the ballads and none of the ballads are of the slow, sappy sort. A few songs have a bit of an AC/DC vibe to them. This is clearly heard in the opening riff of "Save Your Soul". Album opener "Drag Me Down" opens with a bluesy acoustic vibe and reminds me of the Damn Yankees. The song builds from it's acoustic opening and becomes a hooky rocker once the song kicks in. This song also has a wicked hook and probably could have been a hit for the band had it been released prior to the wretched grunge movement of the 90's. Walk With A Stranger is a cover of a little know Skid Row song. Productions values are stellar without being overly slick. The guitars have a nice bite to them and every instrument is clearly heard and in their proper place in the mix. I really can't find any fault with "New Audio Machine". Trixter stick to what they like to do and they do it well.