Updated: Jun 11
Crazy Lixx released their first album New Religion on March 19, 2010. As I've listened to the album over the last decade or so, it's still one of the ones I go to when I just want to hear great 80’s sounding music. They are rich with amazing guitar riffs and melodies and I believe they are so beyond underrated as a band, and it's sad to me as a huge, genuine fan since this album they haven't been able to get the momentum and fan base they deserve. They are this generation’s heavier Night Ranger, though I do have to admit their latest album Forever Wild is propelling them forward! I definitely liked everything they've done since this, but this is just the magic of the band and what I think of when I see their name or think of them as one of the best newer bands of the 21st century. Like Danger Danger or Skid Row's self-titled albums. All I know is I was hooked the first time I heard "Lock Up Your Daughter" and just thought they'd shoot up in popularity like Steel Panther did. Most of their chorus' are really catchy and their guitar work is just so GREAT!!! This band is how melodic and vocal harmony focused Def Leppard always aspired to be, with their heavy influence from Queen, and Def Leppard is still my favorite band of all time. So here are my reflections and thoughts about what I have loved listening to about this album for the last 10 years.
"Rock and a Hard Place" has such a cool hook that you can't help dancing to, especially in the build-up to the chorus. The guitar solo is just fun and uplifting, and you can definitely expect to be the rest of the album to be this great of quality too! "My Medicine (R.O.C.K.)" has this bass heavy tempo that I can't stand sitting still listening to. The vocal harmonies are just golden too with the awesome steady, simple beat, with the really awesome higher guitar doing a higher, simple melody over the chorus. The guitar solo is so fun to dance to and cascades down the frets. The chanting of "If you're feeling bad, you gotta turn it up c'mon play it loud. Moving to the sound, a little rockin's what it's all about" always stuck with me and kept me inspired in hard moments too. Super catchy! "21 'Til I Die" has this lyric: "I won't take shit from you, I'm not your sweet kid anymore, so this is what I'll do..." leading into the chorus. It probably sums up the little asshole self I was from age 18 until recently; I just have a little more tact now. I had all the teen angst I let out in my early 20's going out to shows and this song will always be a soundtrack to that for me. It is crazy how all these songs sound nostalgic and then become its’ own beloved nostalgia.
As much as I've said and will definitely continue to say in the far later future how much I love Def Leppard, "Blame It on Love" is their most Leppard-sounding song. It's got some of the most succulent melodies and it hooks you in because it's a sadder love song. The vocal harmonies, again, are on point with the always interesting and juicy guitar licks in the background. I love when he draws out a particular line in the verse and the instruments all kind of slow down too and it's perfectly on time. It's such a small detail that I just LOVE because the tempo change is so quick before it resumes to what it was already. It's such a small effect that added a lot of dynamic drama. The guitar solo is the best of both worlds of Phil Collen and Steve Clark. "Road to Babylon" has a much different guitar tone, then the band comes booming in with a swipe of a guitar and we already have the harmonious vocal chanting too. Probably one of the songs I listen to the most, especially with the windows down on full volume on the highway cruisin' with my aviators on. The verses have a killer rhythm with mainly bass and drum that's just the best touch. The chorus is extreme catchy, and this is one of the best and my favorite guitar solos on New Religion. "Children of the Cross" is slower tune, probably would be described as a ballad, but it's one of the strongest songs on the album. Vocally I think it’s the most striking and really displays Danny’s sound. It is cryptic touching on the subject of sexually abused children, especially in the Catholic church, but it's brought awareness respectfully. They have this awesome effect of church chimes on a rainy night in the intro to convey the solemnity of the awful facts. The chorus is basically just all vocal harmony and the slower pace really showcases the beautiful instruments in the band as well.
"The Witching Hour" opens with a distorted guitar with a Ratt-like melody. Nice restriction on instruments and Danny's voice is so distinctive against them in his higher register. I love the "I want your love; come feel my body" part. They just have always had amazing hooks. Loving the slight metal tone but it’s still upbeat enough to dance to. There is cool guitar work playing through the first measure of the chorus before this amazing solo, one of my favorites on New Religion. Awesome vocal chanting fades out with a totally different pace and sound than the rest of the song. "Lock Up Your Daughter" is the best display of the bass guitar on New Religion. It rips into not just a killer guitar riff and already synchronized vocal harmonies, but we get a dirty bass making your heart thump the whole song. The drums are steady and flawless and each instrument really gets to shine in this song. That's how I think of "Girls, Girls, Girls". The song features some of the best sounding aspects of all their instruments and truly highlights the entire band. There is sick guitar-licking the entire song while remaining incredibly rhythmic. "She's Mine" is a different song than the others where the instruments are slightly more relaxed. New Religion truly has song diversity because "She’s Mine" is one of the more unique songs on New Religion. I can somewhat relate to the lyrics sometimes as well. The melody in the verses and chorus are pleasant and uplifting more than feeling like we get our rock on. I love the drums and tempo of the song, as well as the Dokken-style vocal chorus solo.
"What of Our Love" is a ballad with an acoustic intro and light band accompaniment. It’s an awesome 80's arena style love song. I can best describe it as in the realm of Bon Jovi’s “I'll Be There For You”. There is an awesome solo outro before repeating the epic 80's chanty chorus fade out to close the song. "Desert Bloom" is 45 second clip of a western, banjo-sounding guitar piece that flows really well into "Voodoo Woman". This song sounds very Def Leppard-ish as well, and I believe they ended with one of their better songs. The track’s guitar solo and outro is my favorite on all of New Religion. It’s perfectly synchronized with the instruments and power-driving vocals. Vocal harmonies are scattered throughout song, and focuses on being a nice upbeat song with a great offset beat. You can’t help but wonder where these super talented, passionate guys have been, and they’ve only been rocking for a decade! "Voodoo Woman" is such a great end to a great album.