Saturday, August 9, 2014

KICK: "Memoirs"

Rating: RRR(R)

Label: Escape Music 2014
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

”Memoirs” is the fourth album from KICK. They released a trio of rather good albums back in the nineties and early 00’ies. Signed to Maiden’s Steve Harris’ label, especially their debut created a major buzz. Despite the quality of their output, they didn’t become the stars they deserved to be. For some reason, possibly fooled by the title, I thought that this was a compilation of demos or something and didn’t really hold it in high priority. Oh well…

KICK 2014 is basically the Jones brothers Mikey and Chris. More precisely, Mikey has played, sang and recorded everything on the album, while Chris is responsible for the remastering. Nick Workman, the original Kick frontman on their three previous albums is nowadays busy fronting VEGA, so the brothers decided to go for it and resurrect the Kick monicker.

The absence of Workman is probably the most noticeable difference to ”old” Kick. Mikey Jones is an okay singer but no match to Workman, I’m afraid. His voice reminds me a bit of Stephen Pearcy, Joe Elliott and Alice Cooper, only somewhat smoother. He excels in songwriting though, and there’s plenty of enjoyable melodic rock material on this album.

The sound of the album is quite good, clear and balanced. We’re talking about modern melodic rock, although there are some keyboard sounds that strangely remind me of 1983 ”futuristic” sounds!

The iTunes version of the album contains 14 songs, but I’ve got only the 11 tracks of ”regular” version here. Out of them, my favorites are ”Thrill Seeking Junkie”, ”Radio” and the balladic, slightly Def Leppardish ”Round & Round” and ”Never Lost That Feeling”. I can’t say that I’m crazy about ”Come Back” with its’ annoying, over-repeated hook or the monotonous ”Urban Refugee” though. In fact, if the snippets on iTunes are anything to go by, all three ”bonus tracks” sound better. That’s why the fourth R is in parentheses - I’d say there’s a 10- or 11-track album worth the 4R rating to be made out of the 14 tracks, it’s just not this regular release.

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