Kix - "Live in Baltimore" CD Review (Frontiers Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kix - "Live in Baltimore" CD Review (Frontiers Records)

Kix - 'Live in Baltimore' CD Review (Frontiers Records)
Having grown up in Baltimore in the early/mid 80’s, nothing annoys me more than when people refer to Kix as a “hair metal” band. Yes…Kix opened for Whitesnake’s 1990 tour during David Coverdale and the boys’ hair-farmer days but Kix’s first disc came out in 1981 and the band is, and always has been, a high-energy hard-rock band in the same vein as AC/DC. Kix is one of those bands that should have broken out but I don’t think any of the 80’s Baltimore bands were able to turn that corner.

My belief is that poor promotion from Atlantic Records ultimately doomed both Kix and Baltimore thrash metalers Wrathchild America (whose guitarist/vocalist Brad Divens was briefly a member of Kix). Kix compensated by building up a following by playing multiple nights a week and by playing any club that would let them in the door. Kix played all the local rock clubs (Coast to Coast, The Bayou, Seagull Inn) and an early show at Seagull Inn was broadcast on USA Network’s Night Flight. (video clip below). The band worked their way up to headlining sold-out shows at the local rock mecca Hammerjacks (Baltimore’s version of L’Amour) and played high-profile coliseum shows with bands like AC/DC, Ratt and David Lee Roth.

After 1988’s Blow My Fuse and 1991’s Hot Wire failed to break the band, Atlantic Records released a brilliant, but little heard, contractual obligation concert album from the Hot Wire tour. Kix called it a day in 1995 but slowly the members regrouped around singer Steve Whiteman’s band Funny Money. Kix (minus bassist Donnie Purnell who has been replaced by Funny Money bassist Mark Schenker) officially reunited in 2003 and will release a live CD/DVD, Live in Baltimore (Frontiers Records), on Sept. 25th which was recorded at a sold-out show last year at Baltimore’s Rams Head Live.

There are a couple different versions of this disc (track list(s) below) and this 77-minute/12 track disc touches on songs from almost all of Kix’s discs (with the notable exception being 1995’s Show Business) and shows the band hasn’t slowed down or lost any of their edge over the past 30 years. The band opens with “No Ring Around Rosie”, from Blow My Fuse, and puts some teeth into power ballad “Don’t Close Your Eyes”, which they play early in the set. The energy stays high throughout the set as the band powers through “Girl Money” followed by an extended version of “Cold Blood” and this later track includes an audience sing-along. The set also includes some numbers that I haven’t heard in years like 1981’s “Atomic Bombs” and “Kix are for Kids” and (of course) the band goes out with an extended version (16+ minutes) of “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” – a tale of a drunken pick-up that came to a crashing ending.

Kix have announced that there are writing songs for a new studio disc which is due out sometime next year (also on Frontiers Records). KIX singer Steve Whiteman stated: "This is a great thing for us and we hope it's a great thing for KIX fans all around the world. We are so thrilled to finally be able to give the fans what they have been asking for, a live DVD and new KIX music in 2013! We have been hard at work getting new material together that we think will stand shoulder to shoulder with any previous KIX record. It's a really exciting time for KIX!"

01. No Ring Around Rosie
02. Atomic Bombs
03. Lie Like A Rug
04. Don't Close Your Eyes
05. Girl Money
06. Cold Blood
07. Cold Shower
08. She Dropped Me The Bomb
09. Blow My Fuse
10. Kix Are For Kids
11. Midnite Dynamite
12. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

01. No Ring Around Rosie
02. Atomic Bombs
03. Lie Like A Rug
04. Sex
05. The Itch
06. Don't Close Your Eyes
07. Hot Wire
08. Same Jane
09. Girl Money
10. Ronnie "10/10" (Solo)
11. Cold Blood
12. Jimmy "Chocolate" (Solo)
13. Cold Shower
14. She Dropped Me The Bomb
15. Blow My Fuse
16. Kix Are For Kids
17. Midnite Dynamite
18. For Shame
19. Brian "Damage" (Solo)
20. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Digital Edition (audio only)
01. No Ring Around Rosie
02. Atomic Bombs
03. Lie Like A Rug
04. Sex*
05. The Itch*
06. Don't Close Your Eyes
07. Hot Wire*
08. Girl Money
09. Cold Blood
10. Cold Shower
11. She Dropped Me The Bomb
12. Blow My Fuse
13. Kix Are For Kids
14. Midnite Dynamite
15. For Shame*
16. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
* Bonus Tracks