With a successful resurrection in 2008 and the first new album in twenty years, 2012's New Audio Machine, New Jersey's Trixter remain alive and kicking. And they're still rocking like it's 1990 on their fourth album, Human Era.
Actually, as I said with the previous album, Trixter sounds better now than they did 25 years ago. Much fuss was made over their first album but, excepting the art work, I found it rather flat and forgettable. Time and musical maturity seems to have given Trixter a greater creative spirit. Or maybe simply, in the current popular American music scene, nobody does this type of music anymore.
The strength of classic melodic hard rock has always come from songwriting that is high on melody, groove, and simple accessibility, the turn of a lyric, the catchy refrain, a memorable melody. Trixter works from those strengths and delivers some classy, catchy, and entertaining rock. Yeah, sure, they sound like everybody's late Eighties hard rock band from Pete Loran's generic Bon Jovi-esque sound to the flaring guitars to the songs about chicks and partying. But it sounds really good, like really good fun, like rock music was meant to be. It's the guilty pleasure, the music you don't want to admit you really dig. Like country dude at fifty-something who still cranks out the Garth Brooks song in his pick up truck.
But enough editorial rambling. There's some sweet tunes here, so let's metion a few. Starting at the back end, the closing title track is probably one of the best representations of Trixter's musical maturity. It's got that good melody and catch in the lyrics (which have more than a little autobiographical reflection). Rockin' to the Edge of the Night and Crash The Party will have you thinking you warped back to 1990: thick riffs, tons of groove, some gang vocals, wicked leads, and that party attitude, all suitable for a backyard kegger. For some groove and speed, For You is rather unstoppable, and the drum and riffage at the starts winds the top up. Similar is All Night Long, where the pace is brisk but steady, with a strong vocal arrangement. And what would classic hard rock be without the arena anthem, and Every Second Couts delivers. It's that melody twisted with a great chorus that drives the song. Conversely, two songs didn't spark much interest. One was Beats Me Up. It sounds fine, nice melody and so forth, but the lyrics are just goofy. Another is Good Times Now, which follows, and seems only to churn and stumble along. Nevertheless, others may favor the songs, and they certainly don't stink enough to sink the entire album. Nope. Human Era finds Trixter dead on, once more hitting the mark, with their classic melodic hard rock revival. Easily recommended.
Human Era finds Trixter dead on, once more hitting the mark, with their classic melodic hard rock revival. Easily recommended.
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