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Trixter – New Audio Machine (Album Review)

Trixter – New Audio Machine
(2012, Frontiers Records)

1. Drag Me Down … 4:08
2. Get On It … 3:45
3. Dirty Love … 3:41
4. Machine … 3:35
5. Live For The Day … 3:38
6. Ride … 3:48
7. Physical Attraction … 3:52
8. Tattoos & Misery … 3:33
9. The Coolest Thing … 3:37
10. Save Your Soul … 4:03
11. Walk With A Stranger … 4:33

Peter Loran – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Steve Brown – Lead Guitar, Harmonica, Backing Vocals
P. J. Farley – Bass, Backing Vocals
Mark “Gus” Scott – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Producer: Trixter

Can you believe this is only Trixter’s third studio album? The last studio album they released was in 1992 and since then there’s been an album of covers, a live release and a compilation. Of course, the shortage of Trixter material is all due to the band being inactive from 1995-2007.

New Audio Machine shows they haven’t skipped a beat and it feels like a natural follow-up to their first two albums. Call it pop/rock, pop, melodic hard rock, pop-metal… who cares! Trixter has launched a fun and infectious collection of rock songs on a world that wasn’t exactly begging for a Trixter reunion but should welcome it just the same.

I loved the 40Ft. Ringo project that Steve Brown & PJ Farley started up back in the early ’00s but that was an obvious attempt to sound current and fit in with the popular power/punk/pop bands of the day. Luckily, New Audio Machine doesn’t try to play catch up with today’s rock scene. This is honest catchy melodic hard rock with big sing-along choruses. “Live For The Days” bears a slight resemblance to 40Ft. Ringo while a few numbers are rock/pop that could make it to Top 40 stations but it all feels natural. I don’t think Trixter was looking to be trendy at all. This is an album that takes you back in time but that feels natural too. It’s just Trixter being Trixter.

Not that these guys are all bubblegum and sunshine. “Machine” sounds like Motley Crue circa Dr. Feelgood, especially at the chorus, while “Drag Me Down” is a dirty rocker that reminds me of Blue Murder. “Ride” is another heavy number that’ll put anyone in the mood to hit the road and burn rubber.

“Walking With A Stranger” is a cover of a Skid Row song. Skid Row originally recorded the song during the sessions for their 1989 debut but it didn’t make it to the album. I can see why it didn’t make the cut. It’s so poppy and upbeat it sounds out of place as a Skid Row song but perfectly fits Trixter.

Every song here is a winner. Trixter has delivered.

Highlights: “Drag Me Down”, “Machine”, “Live For The Day”, “Ride”, “Tattoos & Misery”, “The Coolest Thing”, “Save Your Soul”

New Audio Machine

40FT. RINGO – Funny Thing

40Ft. Ringo – Funny Thing (2003, Atenzia Records)

1. “Anyway”… 2:41
2. “Wired” … 3:31
3. “Inside Your Head” … 2:38
4. “Big Fat Smile” … 3:25
5. “Origami Mommy” … 4:26
6. “Book Of Virtues” … 3:52
7. “Be My Fix” …
8. “A Freak Like You” … 3:01
9. “Unbroken” … 3:14
10. “Miss You Blue” … 4:00
11. “Anti-Zero” … 3:15
12. “Fanatic” … 3:25
13. “Tough” … 3:07

Steve Brown – Vocals, Guitar
Maz – Guitar
P.J. Farley – Bass
Brian Gabriel – Drums

Producer: Steve Brown & P.J. Farley

Early last decade, I had a great affinity for modern power pop/hard rock music. I loved the music that was being put out by Marvelous 3, Tsar, American Hi-Fi, Zebrahead and 40Ft. Ringo. I’ve been familiar with most of this album for nearly 8 years now (I think most of it “leaked” much earlier than the album’s release) but it was only recently I finally snatched up a used copy on for only a few bucks.

Much like Marvelous 3, 40Ft. Ringo has a hair metal connection — both Steve Brown and P.J. Farley are members of New Jersey hair rockers Trixter. I’m not too familiar with Trixter’s work, they came along as the scene was dying and never got glowing reviews so I haven’t bothered to sample much other than their singles.

As for this album, it’s an infectious rock & power pop album complete with a bit of the punk pop sound that was popular about the time this album was released (Blink-182, SR-71, Eve 6… Why all the numbers ?!?). There’s so many great radio-ready songs on this album. While this is an indie release that I’m sure had an extremely limited marketing budget, I’m also certain the fact that half the band was from a “hair band” didn’t help them at all. It’s sad but that’s just the way mainstream entertainment industry operates.

It’s great to finally have this album in my collection as I hadn’t heard these songs in years and still remembered most of them!

Highlights: “Anyway”, “Inside Your Head”, “Big Fat Smile”, “Origami Mommy”, “Book Of Virtues”, “Be My Fix”, “Anti-Zero”, “Tough”

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