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KIX RETURN
Written By: Stone Scruggs
*Click images below to view larger versions.
KIX RETURN
Rock Faceoff. Kix still on stage in stage 2 of career.
TO ROCK YOUR FACE OFF, AGAIN
 
I don't do nostalgia. If you're not creating new music, you're irrelevant, dead to me. Baltimore's own Kix has risen from the dead as of late 2013, when they recorded their fifth album with the same lineup (one key original founding member excepted). Rock Your Face Off was perhaps too positively reviewed here in the excitement after its release. But any subsequent reassessment is obviated and beside the point as the band prepares to release Can't Stop The Show: The Return Of Kix, a deluxe live and behind the scenes and in the studio making of multi media rockumentary. Apparently they’re breaking their collective arm patting themselves on the back after three years. To that I say, good for them. Former bassist/songwriter/control freakin' Svengali Donnie Purnell dominated the band for nearly two decades. How satisfying must it have been for Kix to say kiss my ass, we can do it without you, nineteen years later no less. All we have to do is replace you with a younger songwriting bassist. Well, that’s actually a bit bizarre, but hey, whatever works. And it did/does. Last week was the second appearance in so many years on an OC Bikefest Thursday, and again they Rocked Our collective Face Off. And We Liked It. 
Kix albums have always been models of mediocrity - the last album prebreakup (1994's Show Business) excepted, curiously and ironically enough, and the "reunion" album continues to improve on the original model, if only marginally. A fun listen for casual fans, essential for fans. Eighties alsorans, ultimately? Perhaps. But there's a soft spot in a lot of ageing - and legendary front man Steve Whiteman just turned sixty going on sixteen - headbanger hearts for The Goddamn Kix Band, who were imitating AC/DC a decade before Rhino Bucket (who guitarist Damage Forsythe actually joined in the early oughts). It goes without saying as common knowledge that Steve is the best front man since Robert Plant (who could also be disarmingly funny onstage for an egotistical Rock God, besmirked with elegant verbal asides especially on the triumphal but troubled 1977 tour; Whiteman is much cruder, with a witty but silly sense of adolescent scatological humor) or Bon Scott, the quintessential funny drunken gentleman. And speaking of affectionate soft spots, as a bred and spread Baltimore boy, I still remember Keith Richards/ junkie gypsy stakes entry Ronnie Younkins project with Faces obsessive Jeremy White: the MicknKeef punning The Slimmer Twins album was produced in 2k by GunsnRoses' Gilby Clark. 
But don’t take my word for it regarding the new and improved version of this nearly forty year old Maryland Institution. Check out the new album/documentary in a couple weeks.
 
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