In 1990, I came across Trixter’s debut as a throwaway cassette from a metalhead that I sat with at the cafeteria table in high school. He exclaimed it was pop-hair band crap. Score, I grabbed it knowing it would surely fit my taste. It sure did! Growing up in Montreal we didn’t get MuchMusic (the Canadian MTV) on TV, only the Quebec counterpart MusiquePlus which was a plus because Quebec gets some things right: Poutine (I know it comes from New Brunswick you proud Acadians, I lived there as well) and their love for 80’s style hair metal. I know some don’t like that moniker; hair metal, but it’s what we called it then so why shy away from it now. Loud and Proud! I recall phoning my girlfriend then, wife now 25 years later, who had a VCR in her bedroom that MusiquePlus would be playing the new “One In A Million” video. Being a song we played for each other, I wanted her to see its debut and record it for us. Score! Been listening to the guys in Trixter ever since with regularity. Had the pleasure of seeing them open for KISS in 1992 as well. We are a Trixter loving couple! If you are still reading you either like this pop-hair metal music or have a fixation on self-torture. Keep in mind, I am just as likely to write about a Slayer/Andrew W.K./Volbeat release and have positive stories about them as well. If you are still reading now I have either lost all credibility or you still have that fixation now mixed with wonder.
Fast Forward. I was excited when in 2012 Trixter released New Audio Machine, check out “Tattoos & Misery” on that release, great song and heavier than usual for Trixter. C’mon “Slaytanics” give it a whirl!
Present tense: How well a rock record starts usually sets the tone towards the impression for the remaining 90% of the songs. The last song could be a great tune, but if the first isn’t rockin’ it’s not likely to leave the listener feeling great about sticking it out. For me, I take about 3 songs to get that feeling, and on Human Era the first 3 songs; “Rockin’ To The Edge of The Night”, “Crash That Party” and “Not Like All The Rest” are killer rock tunes, especially the latter. Similar to any great rock band live, you have to attack with 3 great songs. Trixter delivered on their part. Good for these guys to get back at it. Sticking with their melodies and harmonies, backing vocals, excellent guitar work and a solid mix; they have also brought some new guitar sounds to their formula that has worked well. Well done Steve Brown! This is not 80’s rock by any means yet stays true enough to those roots to be appreciated. If my 10-year-old boy is playing air guitar for those starting 3 songs, that sticks a very positive note. If he and I are singing the choruses a day later, and not like “Hotel California” annoying stuck in your head kind of song, that is another positive note. These songs are catchy, well done on your part Pete!
“For You” has a Mr. Big vibe going, and that is a compliment. Good song.
“Every Second Counts”: I generally dislike Coldplay as a band because Chris Martin, their singer, sounds annoying and depressed to me. Not my thing. I love their guitar work however, and this is why I love that Trixter/Steve Brown have brought themselves into modern day rock with a similar sound, only paired with a better singer and lyrics in my opinion and for my digestion. I read to think, I listen to rock!
“Beats Me Up” is a solid ballad, not a standard one. A little on the dark side, perhaps some Coldplay hangover 🙂
“Good Times Now” starts with awesome vocal harmonizing. Could be a tad faster of a tempo. A Def Leppard style sound.
Not a bad middle of the pack songs.
“Midnight In Your Eyes”. Not sure I would even want this on a b-side collection. Not a Trixter song for my ears.
“All Night Long” gets back to a rockin’ tune. With a title like that while predictable, it needed to rock after the previous track.
“Soul Of A Lovin’ Man” begins with a layering of distortion style guitar and some horns, well done. Horns and rock guitar is a good thing! Crazy good solo shredding to!
“Human Era” finishes up the release and a smart move by the band/producer to realize this fits better as an ending song rather than a starting one even though it shares the title. A historical song, well done.
If you buy the iTunes pre-order you get 2 bonus tracks: “Always a Victim” and “Road of a 1000 Dreams”. One from their first 2 releases each and great songs!
Songs that stand out to me: “Not Like All The Rest”, “Rockin’ To The Edge of The Night”, “Every Second Counts”.
I like this release. It is solid enough to be a good listen and has enough tracks that are awesome; 3, for me to keep listening to it. I don’t like giving stars or numerical ratings, you decide. At the very least check out the songs preview at iTunes or Amazon.
Blair De Abreu