The last album, for me, wasn’t my thing. Just didn’t really care for it. I don’t know, yet, what Eugene thinks of it and Jon is somewhere off in the weeds of obscurity on his list placement, so who knows when he’ll catch up. We’ll move on to something else…
#22 – Kix by Kix.
This is a band that I knew was going to be on the list. I mean it had to be, Eugene talks about them all the time. I figured it would be Midnight Dynamite but it wasn’t. Instead, we get the debut album from the band. I will admit that I groaned a little bit when I saw it come through. I don’t know why and I didn’t know what I was missing.
We all know that I prefer slick, polished production over the raw and rough feel, any day. Any day, except, I guess, today. This album is raw with little over-the-top production. The vocals are kind of tinny and paperlike but it works so well. Steve Whiteman (a fellow WVian) barks with reckless abandon, but dang! it works. They sound so young, so hungry. This is raw and it’s beautiful.
The drum sound is thumpy yet still paper-thin, but again, I don’t mind it. It all sounds like it should be that way. Jimmy Chalfant pounds those skins like his life depends on it. Not a lot of flash but in perfect time. The guitar duo of Ronnie Younkins and Brian Forsythe is a tandem of cock-sure grit. They are perfectly subtle and riffy at the same time. Their chops make this sonically appetizing.
This album has something that you don’t find a lot of. That’s a non-lead vocalist bass player that is the primary songwriter. I know Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx was the main songwriter for them and Bruno Ravel (along with drummer Steve West) is the main songwriter for Danger Danger. Outside of that, most bassists who are the songwriters are also a lead vocalist in some capacity. All that being said, Donnie Purnell is a bad arsed, songwriting, thunderstick thumpin’ mofo! Only one song on the album doesn’t have his name on it and that’s “Love at First Sight” (Forsythe/Whiteman). Incidentally, he’s the only one that is on this album that isn’t currently in the band. One thing that strikes me, though, is that while the songs are written by the bass player, there’s not a lot of fancy bass riffs, at least compared to the guitar parts. Hmmm.
My favorites on this album start with the first tune, “Atomic Bombs” and ends with “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” (the last tune). But, my absolute top song on this album, hands down, is “Heartache.” There’s something about the vocal melody combined with the music that makes me smile and nod my head. Not as known as their two big records, Midnight Dynamite and Blow My Fuse, the album Kix has solid, fun and rocking songs throughout. This one was a winner, Eug and I thank you for introducing me to it. Can’t wait to read your take. Perhaps Jon will catch up someday.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“She got love she’s making me burn. Like a fool you know I’ll never learn, she had heartbreak. She said, ‘Love you are my biggest mistake.’ She had heartbreak. Oh well, she had a heartbreak.” – “Heartache” (Purnell)