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Kick Axe To Release First Album Since 1986

Kick Axe, one of the best and most successful heavy rock bands to burst out of Canada in the 1980s, returns with "Kick Axe IV," their first album of new material in 18 years. "Kick Axe IV" will be released on September 7, 2004, by Song Haus Music.

The band includes vocalist Gary Langen, guitarist Larry Gillstrom, guitarist Raymond Harvey, bassist Victor Langen and drummer Brian Gillstrom. All of the members contribute vocal harmonies.

The 14 songs on "Kick Axe IV" are: "Right Now," "Rockin Daze," "Consolation," "Turn To Stone," "Do You Know," "Who Knows Ya," "Woe," "Time," "Slip Inside My Dream," "Who Says," "Rock N Roll Dog," "Black Heart," "City Lights" and "The Only Ones Here."

"We always felt like the band had unfinished business. Every couple of years we would talk about getting back together, and now we are finally able to do that," says Larry Gillstrom. "It took us two years to put 'Kick Axe IV' together. There were a lot of songs to choose from."

The band was originally formed in Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1976 by Larry Gillstrom and brothers Victor Langen and Gary Langen. Ray Harvey soon came on board and by early 1978 the band relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia.

"The move to Vancouver really changed our outlook and we were able to build up a great local following," Larry Gillstrom says.

Gary Langen left the band before the end of 1979. In 1980, Larry Gillstrom's brother Brian Gillstrom joined on drums and Charles McNary climbed aboard as lead vocalist. Kick Axe was still not entirely happy with its lineup, and national advertisements resulted in Milwaukee native George Criston earning the lead vocalist slot, and he relocated to Vancouver in 1982.

Kick Axe signed with Pasha Records and recorded its 1984 debut 'Vices' with producer Spencer Proffer. "Heavy Metal Shuffle" was a modest hit from the album, which very nearly went gold after a well-received tour opening for Judas Priest. The follow-up album, 'Welcome To The Club,' was issued in 1985. The band also recorded two songs for the 'Transformers: The Movie' soundtrack but record company brass were afraid the band's name was not suitable for the young audience, so they were credited as Spectre General. 'Rock The World' was released in 1986 but severe business-related problems going back to 'Welcome To The Club' caused Kick Axe to fade away by 1988. But the band never formally broke up.

The members all stayed in touch and many remained involved in various aspects of the music business.

"Several of us still played in groups just for fun, or wrote songs for other bands. I got into developing software and video games and have been fortunate enough to be successful at it. My brother Brian started a limousine company that's now the biggest one in Vancouver," Larry Gillstrom says. "After leaving the band initially, Gary played with bands in clubs. Raymond had left the band before 'Rock The World' and he joined the Vancouver band Rock & Hyde, which was Bob Rock's old band. Bob went on to produce albums for Motley Crue and Metallica."

Awareness of Kick Axe never waned: the first two albums were reissued on CD to brisk sales and positive reviews; copies of 'Rock The World' have sold on eBay for $150 (U.S. dollars); and several fan-created web sites have been started, including one in the Czech Republic (www.kickaxe.wz.cz). 'Kick Axe IV' is a deeply satisfying album for Kick Axe because they were able to translate their accumulated wisdom into richly rewarding songs.

Upon the reformation of Kick Axe two years ago, Gary Langen came on board. Criston was not able to participate due to his behind-the-scenes commitments with the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Dido and Avril Lavigne. With the exception of Gary Langen, the lineup on 'Kick Axe IV' is the same as 'Vices' and 'Welcome To The Club.'

Kick Axe plans to hit the road again for an extensive tour. The band has already performed one highly successful, eagerly awaited reunion show. It took place in August 2004 in Regina, Saskatchewan, their hometown, which also happened to be the last city they performed in during their original run.

Longtime allies within the media and radio have encouraged Kick Axe's return. The band plans to stick around.

"There is no foreseeable end at the moment. Tasting it again is very enticing," Larry Gillstrom says. "We went into this without preconceived notions of how the music would sound. 'Kick Axe IV' is very emotional and from the heart. We all got what we wanted out of the album."

For all the latest Kick Axe information, including tour date announcements, visit www.kickaxe.net.

Band: www.kickaxe.net
Label: www.songhausmusic.com

Source: Metal Rules

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2 Comments on "Kick Axe To Release First Album Since 1986"

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Anonymous Reader
1. Vlado writes:

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", "Rock'n'Roll Dog", "Time" and "City Lights". To compare Kick Axe 2004 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 music not only for Kick Axe fans, it is a music for all those who like good hard rockin' band. In my opinion this album is one of the best hard rock albums of 2004 year.

# Sep 9, 2004 @ 3:29 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. Fan4music writes:

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.

# Sep 22, 2004 @ 3:01 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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