KIX - 'Rock Your Face Off'
Steve Whiteman - vocals
Ronnie '10/10' Younkins - guitars
Brian 'Damage' Forsythe - guitars
Jimmy 'Chocolate' Chalfant - drums
Mark Schenker - bass
1.) "Wheels In Motion" - This intro opens with a classic KIX style intro arrangement. There is a minor lead guitar solo connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. It sounded like the musical intro consisted of just one guitar arrangement. For the musical pre-chorus and chorus the band speeded the beats per minute up just a little. Though it has been almost twenty years since KIX has recorded anything once the chorus kicks in you can tell this band has not missed a beat. The pre-chorus had that classic Steve vocal hook that has made the band famous with their fans. After the first chorus there was a small breakdown section. Over the top of the rhythm guitar of the second chorus Brian plays several lead guitar licks. These lead guitar licks lead to the lead guitar solo section. After the lead guitar solo there was a bass solo. After the third chorus and running over the top of the coda there was a second lead guitar solo.
2.) "You're Gone" - This track consisted of a very simple intro arrangement. The band used the same basic rhythm guitar of the musical verse as the one they used for the intro with the addition of a second rhythm guitar. The second rhythm guitar was laced in between the musical rests of the main rhythm guitar. Every fourth measure of the musical verse consisted of a tom-tom fill. The fill that Jimmy played followed along with the rhythm guitar of measure. The musical pre-chorus had a classic KIX sound to it. For the chorus Steve plays a tambourine. Though a tambourine isn't much it sure does give the music arrangement a more full sound. The last lyric of the second chorus leading into the lead guitar solo consisted of a vocal echo. There were several tom-tom fills underneath the lead guitar solo section. After the lead guitar solo, there was a musical breakdown. The breakdown section consisted of two separate rhythm guitar arrangements. The breakdown itself had a huge KIX hook attached to it. There were several lead guitar licks underneath the last chorus of the coda.
3.) "Can't Stop The Show" - The intro to this track consisted of an Angus and Malcom Young (AC/DC) rhythm guitar arrangement over the top of a tom-tom pattern. There was a small rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. In many ways the lead vocals on the verse does not sound like Steve at all. At the end of each lyric line there is a small underling vocal echo. For the musical chorus Jimmy switched from playing a tom-tom pattern to a standard hi-hat drum rhythm. In doing this it changed the dynamics of the song. After the first chorus there was a pick slide to connect the chorus with the second verse. There was a lead guitar solo section connecting the second chorus with the breakdown section. Steve's vocals over the top of the breakdown sounded very reminiscent to Steve of the early eighties. In between the musical arrangement and the lead vocals of the chorus there was a minor lead guitar solo.
4.) "Rollin' In Honey" - This intro opens with a single rhythm guitar riff that leads into a lead vocal line before going into the main body of the intro. The way Mark wrote this gave it a classic KIX feel. There were several lead vocal accents over the top of the musical intro. The musical intro also consisted of a minor lead guitar solo. The musical and lyrical verse was very reminiscent to the stuff KIX were writing on their 1991 release titled 'Hot Wire'. Steve not only keeps time with the tambourine however it also filled in several of the empty spaces of the songs arrangement. It sounded like there was a very small echo attached to the end of each lyric line of the lyrical verse. The musical and lyrical chorus was very reminiscent to the same way the band wrote their last hit "Girl Money" taken off of the CD 'Hot Wire'. After the second chorus there was a breakdown section that consisted of a tom-tom pattern. There were several vocal accents over the top of the breakdown section.
5.) "Rock Your Face Off" - This track opens with two rhythm guitar riffs before going right into the musical verse. There was a classic musical change connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. The choruses are very short and simple. There was an arrangement change connecting the second chorus with the lead guitar solo. There was a short chorus section in between the lead guitar solo arrangement. The lead guitar solo ran over the top of the coda.
6.) "All The Right Things" - All in all Kix done what they do best on this song and that was keeping in very simple!
7.) "Dirty Girls" - This was a classic KIX track!
8.) "Inside Outside Inn" - This track opened with an acoustic guitar arrangement over the top of a percussion shaker. Underneath the lead vocal line a second rhythm guitar kicks-in. This second guitar rhythm was done with an electric guitar. The backing harmonies had a Beatles feel to them. All in all this was a very simple ballad that had amazing backing vocals.
9.) "Mean Miss Adventure" - This track had a classic KIX sound to it. It may be the only track on the release that will remind the older fans of who KIX is.
10.) "Love Me With Your Top Down" - This track opened with a classic KIX intro. There was a small pick slide connecting the intro with the musical verse. The chorus consisted of a huge KIX hook. As a longtime fan this track was my favorite on the CD.
11.) "Tail On The Wag" - This track opened with a very simple intro arrangement. There was a small harmonica arrangement connecting the short intro with the musical verse. For the musical pre-chorus Jimmy switched from a standard hi-hat pattern to a pattern played on his tom-toms. At times the song has a good enough hook to keep you interested however it just doesn't have the KIX hook you are use to. In addition, it was way too short.
12.) "Rock & Roll Showdown"- It is sad that this was the last song because this was the track KIX fans are waiting for.
One night back in '89 when I was in Atlanta studying Music Production me along with the guys I was playing music with at the time was held up in me and my guitarists apartment watching MTV's Headbanger's Ball. That particular night was like no other we was parting a little a working on a setlist of songs we should play live when KIX's video for "Cold Blood" from their 'Blow My Fuse' release came on. I never will forget it, right in the middle of mid-sentence our lead guitar player stopped talking looked at the TV. Pointed at Steve and said, "we need a frontman like that!"
Much like Steve Whiteman the bands' lead singer, I never considered KIX a "hair metal" band. Personally, I always looked at them as a "collage party band". However, I can see why they were put into that category. With that being said KIX was just a footnote of the eighties metal scene with only one hit, "Don't Close Your Eyes".
'Rock Your Face Off' is the first KIX CD since their 1995 release titled 'Show Business'. In theory when you look at KIX's entire catalog 'Rock You Face Off' should not be a good CD. I mean this in the way if you are expecting the sleazy drinking sexual band your use to you can forget it. With that being said, the band hasn't changed much musically. If you're a fan of the band once one of the songs begin to play you will automatically recognize who it is. As a longtime fan I really liked this CD, I just don't know if I'm in a KIX mode if it will be the first one I reach for. If you are a fan of the band it is well-worth at least downloading it through I-tunes or Amazon.