Kick Axe IV MTM Music
Produced By: Kick Axe

Running Time: 59.45

Release Date: September 6

Released: EU

Musical Style: Hard Rock

Links: MTM
Songs: 75%
Sound: 75%
Canada's Kick Axe produced two legendary albums from the 80s Vices And Welcome To The Club. Their third album Rock The World isn't as highly regarded, but nevertheless, the band's legacy remains in the minds of plenty of fans.
Some 18 years later Kick Axe IV is finally released. A couple of years in the making, the album sees the band return without best known singer George Criston, instead with their very original singer (before the band were signed) Gary Langen taking up behind the mike.
Along time coming and with a lot to live up to and I can't say I'm overly impressed with the new album. I prefer the vocals of Criston, but that's not the main problem here.
Simply put, the songs just aren't strong enough. And when you have 14 tracks on offer, you really can't have too many fillers before the great tracks appear too few and far between.
The guys don't seem as energized as they used to be and the varied delivery of the songs doesn't make for a very cohesive record.
Right Now and Rockin Daze get things off to a great start, with a couple of kick ass rock tunes containing all the fire power and melodic hooks desired.
But track three Consolation pretty much kills the momentum with a plodding pace and a less desired production quality.
Following that a couple of tracks stand out such as the darker and heavier Time, but it's not until Who Says, that things really get rocking again.
There are several tracks that pay homage to Led Zeppelin, the slow starting Turn To Stone one of the best.
But elsewhere there are a few too many slow to mid-tempo tracks that don't have the desired impact.
The Bottom Line
It's always great to see veteran hard rock acts like Kick Axe back in business. But in many cases, their output does not reach the quality or the glory of their most treasured work. This is an album that's maybe 2 tracks too long with an additional couple of fillers on top of that. Not a bad album but not one that was worth waiting many years for.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Welcome To The Club
Rock The World

Line Up
Gary Langen: Vocals
Larry Gillstrom, Raymond Harvey: Guitar
Brian Gillstrom: Drums
Victor Langen: Bass

Essential for fans of:
Kick Axe
Track Listing
Right Now*
Rockin Daze*
Turn To Stone
Do You Know
Who Knows Ya
Slip Inside My Dream
Who Says
Rock N Roll Dog
Black Heart
City Lights The Only Ones Here --*Best Tracks

03/07/05: Jim Turner -
Rating: 50
Not bad, a little lame, George Christon is sorely missed. I strongly suggest that kick Axe fans track down a copy of "paradise" cd this is the album KICk AXE SHOULD have done. George Christon on vocals and it is amazing. George where are you we want more music from you!!!!

23/03/05: Metal Mark -
Rating: 78
Gotta admit some disapointment here. George Criston's distinctive vocals are sorely misses, but new (original) vocalist Gary Langen does a good George impression (especially on 'Rockin' Daze' & Turn To Stone.') Too many moody, slow/mid-tempo tracks weigh the whole affair down. Where are the stompers like 'On The Road To Rock,''All The Right Moves' or 'Can't Take It With You'? I'm glad to have this band back, though. Just rock a bit more next time, eh?

09/10/04: xtreemefan -
Rating: 80
Being a long time listener of hard rock I have noticed a great deal of change in music throughout the years. I find change to be a good thing in music, art and culture. Although I have listened to all of the Kick Axe albums this new cd is a great change from the catalogue that this band did in the 80's.

Actually I find this cd to be a very pleasant surprise in comparison to the 80's arena rock anthem and big hair that grew real old by the time that it became old news in the late 80s.

I personally look at change being a good thing as that is what music is all about or else we would all be listening to the same songs over and over again.

Personally speaking I have read what the previous reviewers have said about comparison to the original band but one can only imagine if George Christon was still in the band would the new cd sound the same. I heard some of the other stuff that George was working on and he was actually changing his singing style after Kick Axe. From what I have heard through contacts through the music industry George is working with artists Sarah McLachlan, Dido and Avril Lavine which is by far a great diversity from his vocal style in Kick Axe. Even on the website George chose to continue working on these types of projects rather than returning to the stage where many feel that he should be. Obviously Mr Christon wants to be involved in a different musical direction.

I have found that comparing one artist to another do neither of them justice this is like comparing all of the drummers of Judas Priest, The Who, and all of the other bands that have had to replace artists from either members quitting or passing on into the next life.

However for those that like to compare to themselves and their singing abilities in the shower I look forward to hearing them in a digital format.

Being an Extreme fan I found that Gary Cherone did not fit into Van Halen but as Extreme's singer he did not disappoint that fan base.

09/10/04: Neene -
Rating: 100
As a new fan of Kick Axe, I'm loving this album. It's the kind of music you can have play over and over again and have it grow on you. The opening riffs start my head going. It's rather infectious. Very well done. A fresh look at the old Kick Axe sound from the 80s has created an amazing new brand of rock. A return to the past with the return of Gary and yet a deviation into the future with a new twist to their sound. Time marches on. Very glad to see that Kick Axe has progressed with the times. As a fan, my collection of Kick Axe materials (which contains all previously recorded albums) keeps growing, but this latest acquisition is one of my favorites. I love Slip Inside My Dreams and The Only Ones Here. Definitely worth checking out.

08/10/04: Jon Stewart -
Rating: 50
I can't even fathom how anybody in there right mind wouldn't be hugely disapointed with this new Kick Axe CD. George Christan is a phenominal singer and perfomer. This other guy can only carry a tune. I sing better than him in the shower. What a dissapointment. And after 18yrs!!! What were they thinking?!?!!? This reminds me kinda when Gary Cherone sang for Van Halen. Why even bother?

22/09/04: Fan4music -
Rating: 95
Everyone has got a right to an opinion. Although Kick Axe has returned to the recording market it does not mean that they are the same. Actually with the original lineup of the band it is a very interesting concept. It is no longer the decade of the 80's. Time has marched on into a new century. Music has changed through out history or else we would all still be listening to classical music.
I see what previous posters are saying in the comparison to the work of Kick Axe in the 80s. However as most musicians get older styles change with the times.
Gary Langen is not George Christan however if you really listen to Gary's voice he is a quality singer and was the band's original vocalist before they were the well known act of the 80s
I happen to think that the production of this cd is superb for the style of music that Kickaxe is doing now. They are not as heavy as they were in the 80s with the anthem rock that people enjoyed during that period of time but they are a very polished act that many will see once they see them live.
I happen to like this cd from what I have heard of it. Gary Langen is and was the TRUE voice of Kickaxe and if people saw the band prior to them becoming a recording act would realize that Gary fits in the band just as George Christan did in the 80s.
I look forward to the next time I get to see this fabulous act out of Canada and perhaps they will get over to the european market to show europeans how truly this Canadian Rock Act can truly KICK AXE
Even on the old albums the producers and engineers could not truly capture the energy of the TRUE KICK AXE live.

02/09/04: Vlado -
Rating: 100
My first listening to new Kick Axe album was full of expectations, but I have to say seriously I am not dissappointed. And after another listenings to the album I think that Kick Axe IV is album that is really worth purchasing. Kick Axe 2004 is very melodic hard rock with no weak points, catchy guitar riffs and melodies, the production is great, sound is impressive. My favourite tracks are "Right Now", "Rockin' Daze", "Consolation", "Who Knows Ya", "Do You Know", Slip Inside My Dream" and "Rock'n'Roll Dog". To compare Kick Axe IV with previous three albums I think this album is on the same quality level as 1984 Vices. In my opinion Kick Axe IV is a great comeback and I give 6 out of 6. Kick Axe IV is music not only for Kick Axe fans, it is a music for all those who like good hard rockin' band.

01/09/04: JeffWalsh -
Rating: 75
Avril isnt metal, but its a damn great album. I am a metal head, but I can appreciate good pop too. Avril is the best young artist out there. As for KICK AXE, I LOVED their first three albums and I am very skeptical about this one without Criston... but I will definitely buy it and check it out. None of the preview songs I have heard really seemed very impressive though... Anyway, I am glad the boys decided to give it a try at least... perhaps it will grow on people... plus, for strong Kick Axe fans, there would likely be too many expectations for this to ever live up to them... especially without Criston. Kick Axe, really underestimates his importance to sound... he has a style all his own... and a unique voice and was a KEY component to what made the classic albums classic. (There should be a law against calling early vocalists the 'original' vocalist. The original vocalist, is the one in effect when you release a world-wide album. Hell, Judas Priest had a first vocalist before Halford... who cares!? The original JP is with HALFORD... the original Kick Axe is with Criston! In the band's defense, they wanted Criston and he didnt want to (or couldnt) make time for it. If you want to hear Criston after Kick Axe, go grab the CD Paradise with him and Doug Johnson from Loverboy... that is a great album.... and my guess is it is more Kick Axe-ish than this album will be. (I will stick with the reviewer's rating of 75 until I can hear it myself... there should be a way to add an NA rating).

29/08/04: Freddy De Keyzer -
Rating: 50
Never been such a big fan of this act, but this one is even more disappointing !
I really didn't think me and Andrew listened to another record than our friend Craig here.
This is simple hardrock by numbers ! Not one memorable hook or melody or riff !
And even the sound quality is below average ! All in all, poor release, but of course Craig, and there you have a point, still miles ahead of CRAP like Avril Lavigne (who don't belong here at all !) or nu-crap acts like Butch Walker, Vonray, Sister Hazel and other modern/alternative NONSENSE !

28/08/04: Craig Kuhlman -
Rating: 93
I have no idea what cd you were reviewing, but this record kicks butt. If you can give crap like Avril Lavigne(???) a high number then surely you must have been high listening to this. Great RnR album. What a comeback. One of the best cd's of the year. KICK AXE is back on the road to rock. You must buy this disc or you must like Boy George. Simple as that.

ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW! (Ratings out of 100)