ROX - 'Roxstars'

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ROX - 'Roxstars'

A true contender for Album Of The Year!

Initially active during the early eighties, Manchester's ROX were somewhat a fish out of water. Wanting to don the spandex and make-up favoured by our American cousins rather than the denim and leather of the NWOBHM crowd, their music sadly fell upon mostly deaf ears in the UK, but for the few of us mesmerised by their 'Hot Love In The City' EP back in 1982, this was the real deal... so fast-forward to 2017 and a freshly recorded EP 'Teenteeze' brought tears to the (mascara smudged) eyes of those of us who hankered for the ROX brand of fire and brimstone, and now a mere two years later I have in my grubby little mitts the quite wonderful 'Roxstars'.

It features eleven songs which draw their influences from the likes of KISS, Angel, Starz et al. and in keeping with such mighty influences they all epitomise what Glam Metal/Pop is all about. From the dramatic opener 'Violation Of Applicable Laws' right the way through to the closing strains of the blistering 'If It Rox It's Rock And Roll', there's not a single filler in sight. Paul Diamond and Red Hot Red's twin guitars howl and growl their way throughout, and Sebastian Kozak spits out the lyrics as if his life depended on it.

There are way too many highlights to go through every track, but suffice to say the likes of 'Rich Bitch' and 'American Queen' are 24-carat stunners, the reworked songs from the original 1982 EP are a joy to behold and the title-track is a true anthem for the ages. The band have crafted each song to maximise its commercial potential to the very limit which is something I've not been able to say since I last heard 'Sinful'... high praise indeed. The production is polished and fresh, but at the same time big... and I do mean big which gives the whole thing a stadium-sized sheen.

This release serves up an endless string of dramatic, note-perfect gems and it's a true contender for Album Of The Year. It obviously takes me back to when I couldn't get enough of that classic American Hard Rock scene in the late seventies/early eighties.... and what's wrong with that? This platter steamrollers all over the sterile, generic guff that purports to be passed off as Hard Rock these days. 2019 just got a whole lot better for me having heard this absolute ripsnorter.

Malcolm Smith

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