When a band are releasing their first batch of new music for nearly 20 years, you’re well within your rights to expect something special. The Maryland five piece follow up 1995’s Show Business with Rock Your Face Off.
The aptly titled Wheels In Motion opens proceedings with bruising intent, and sets the albums tone perfectly with furious guitar solo’s from Brian “Damage” Forsythe and Ronny “10/10” Younkins. Next up, You’re Gone, unmistakeably bears all the hallmarks of AC/DC, that is until the chorus, which frankly drags the song down. But Can’t Stop The Show more than makes up for that with it’s beautifully seductive rhythm and rousing chorus. And that continues with the wonderfully suggestive Rollin’ In Honey, a song drooling in tongue in cheek humour.
For a title track, Rock Your Face Off disappoints, but no doubt will work better in a live setting, this version lacks serious punch. All The Right Things sees the band get a bit of a southern swagger on, but still maintains it’s rock soul. Dirty Girls is a sleazy little number that’s obviously about their undying love for eh……..dirty girls. Not much originality here, but bloody fantastic all the same.
Power ballads are always dangerous ground, some work, some don’t. But love them or hate them, they’re almost a necessity. And not many have perfected the art. But on Inside Outside Inn, the guys have without doubt nailed it. Vocally it’s flawless with main man Steve Whiteman excelling. The mayhem quickly resumes with the relentless punk-esque of Mean Miss Adventure.
Love Me With Your Top Down just about falls short of Spinal Tap. That’s not a criticism, far from it, but you will laugh at it’s brashness and downright arrogance. That theme is carried on with Tail On The Wag, and once again you could be listening to a mid 70’s AC/DC, with it’s crunching guitar rhythm’s and tight bass line. The album concludes with the high octane Rock ‘n’ Roll Showdown, that will no doubt become a live favourite. A perfect finish to a not so perfect, but solid rock album. But it’s an honest album, KIX aren’t pretending to be something they’re not, they’re just a rock ‘n’ roll band – plain and simple. And folks, there ain’t nothing wrong with that.