AHH the 1980s, the decade when hard rock was in its ascendancy, when rock and metal acts stood shoulder to shoulder and outmuscled the pop acts on shows such as Top of the Pops and The Tube - even the BBC Newsround Children's show featured Bon Jovi's release of 'Slippery When Wet'....
Thanks to the influence of benevolent hard rockin' parents generations have been exposed to those glorious sounds of Def Leppard, DC, Scorpions and all their ilk. As we look, blinking towards the next decade a new tranche of bands are re-kindling the spirit of the 80s, bringing riff packed joy.
The latest of which to cross the doors of metal mansion goes by the moniker Daxx & Roxane. A Swiss-act. Now immediately thinking of Krokus and their hits such as 'Bedside Radio' and 'Long Stick Goes Boom'. A few listens of Dax & Roxane new album 'Ticket To Rock' and the comparison is justified as it seems this four-piece can re-kindle that love of big tunes.
From the off this album is one that gets the feet-tapping and irresistible urge to strap on your air guitar.
While some may have heard the wondrous track 'Wrong Side' on various radio stations, there is many more great tunes on this release. The rocket ride of 'Good Vibes' and the stomp of 'What Was' showcase a band that knows the licks, knows the arrangements that work.
Many an act would be afraid to harken back to tried and trusted formulae and while it largely works there is one-misstep on the Jovi/Lepps 'Leaving Tomorrow' which is the only track that sounds a little-dated.
On the other hand on 'Wild Child' the trusted formula seems to have been injected with element X to give it a kick up the hindmost quarters; as does album closer 'Hard Rockin' Man'.
The bracketing of the title track opening with 'Hard Rockin' Man' gives the album a sense of completeness in its overall attitude to play what they love and play it well.
There are some who regard this type of hard rock as retrograde; not advancing in any way. However, that is to somewhat miss the point. Daxx & Roxane take what could be a tired sounding type of rock by the scruff of the neck, gives it a good shake and makes it sound just energetic but relevant.
'Ticket to Rock' is a fine slab of balls-out rock and roll.
Review by Jonathan Traynor
Ticket to Rock is out now on Justice Brothers Records