Chase Charaba, Editor-in-Chief
Swedish sleaze rock band Crazy Lixx released its newest studio album, Ruff Justice, on April 21 through Frontiers Music Srl and it’s one of their finest albums yet.
The relatively unknown band in the United States has been making music that sounds right of the 1980s since 2007, and this album shows the band’s continued growth. It sounds different from their previous albums, focusing more on big, harmonic vocals and horror themes in their songs. Even the album’s production quality sounds right of the ‘80s, which isn’t the case with most of the band’s previous albums.
Ruff Justice comes two years after the band parted ways with both guitarists, Edd Liam and Andy Zata. However, new guitarists Chrisse Olsson and Jens Lundgren sound like they belong in the band.
The album opens with Wild Child, a melodic song and one of the promotion singles that was accompanied by a rather creepy music video. It sets the mood for the entire album, with vocals reminiscent of the hordes of sleaze and glam bands that came into the music scene at the end of the ‘80s such as Danger Danger. It’s a good song, but it’s not exciting for an album opener.
In contrast, the album’s lead single XIII immediately captures the listener’s attention. The band’s exploration of horror themes is evident with this song, because it mentions it’s a Friday night and it’s “time to die.” The song also says to “run for your life.” Plus, XIII is the roman numeral for 13, hinting at Friday the 13th influences. The guitar work on this song is awesome and it really sounds like something from the ‘80s, not a modern day rehash. It’s definitely a standout on the album and in the band’s career.
Many of the band’s songs will be featured in the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One video game Friday the 13th: The Game, such as XII, Live Before I Die and Killer.
Walk The Wire is more like previous Crazy Lixx songs and it showcases Danny Rexon’s vocal talent without as much harmonizing background vocals.
Shot With a Needle of Love is the sort of upbeat, melodic sleaze rock fans expect from Crazy Lixx. Gone are the horror themes that dominate the album. This track is a definite standout.
Killer starts off slowly like a ballad, except that the lyrics, as part of the Friday the 13th game, mention that there are bodies. The song picks up and details that a killer’s on the run. The simplicity of the song highlights the band’s talent. It’s an interesting song, but definitely not one of their best.
The album’s mood changes again with Hunter of the Heart, where Rexon screams during the song’s opening and signals that the old Crazy Lixx sound is back once again. This song could’ve been on any of the band’s previous albums and shows that they’re really at their best form. It captures the pure hair band feel of Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip.
The album’s second single, Snakes in Paradise, was released in March and follows a pure melodic rock sound like the first half of the album.
Like any true hair metal band, the album contains its standout ballad that might’ve been a hit song were it released 30 years ago. If It’s Love is largely acoustic and gradually builds up to a soaring chorus. After the second chorus, the ballad launches into the album’s best guitar solo. It’s possibly the greatest ballad the band has released, and they’ve released quite a few.
The album finishes off with the fast-paced melodic rocker Kiss of Judas and Live Before I Die, the final song from the album on the Friday the 13th game soundtrack.
Ruff Justice shows that Crazy Lixx isn’t afraid of trying new things with their music and it might be their best album since 2010’s New Religion.
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