Every now and then, bands from yesteryear release a new album trying to cash in on the hopes that their remaining fans will buy some of their new music. At the least, it provides a reason to go out on tour, or join in on the festival circuit. More often than not, these cash-in releases are sub-par and usually best left not purchased. So, you can imagine my expectation level when the new Trixter CD, New Audio Machine came across my desk for review.
It’s so nice to report that this album was more than a pleasant surprise. I don’t know what Trixter has been up to for the last few years, but I do know that I wish they had more great music like what is contained on New Audio Machine. This is the best 80s band release since Whitesnake’s Forevermore.
I’ll admit that I haven’t paid any attention to Trixter since purchasing their debut album over 20 years ago. Their self titled debut was one of the greatest records of 1990, and the follow up, Hear, was decent, but was also a victim of bad timing. Nirvana and Soundgarden had emerged as the new sound of hard rock, knocking most 80s rock bands to the side. Trixter disappeared shortly thereafter and wouldn’t resurface until 2007. Now back with their first album of new material since 1992, Trixter is ready to rock with New Audio Machine.
New Audio Machine kicks off with the very catchy tune, “Drag Me Down.” An acoustic guitar romp opens the track reminiscent of Blue Murder’s “Jelly Roll,” before the song kicks into high gear, pounding the senses with some serious hard rock sounds. This song works very well as the lead track and reintroduction to Trixter It’s been 20 years since fans have heard new, original material from this band, and “Drag Me Down” is a great reminder of the superb music they can make.
“Live For Today” is one of two ballads on the record. While not the classic power ballad that hair metal is known for, “Live For Today” is a pretty song with meaning. Trixter has grown both emotionally and musically as a band, and this shows on “Live For Today.” With 20 years of history in their rearview mirror, Trixter is taking a moment to reflect on how fast life rips by us. The message in the music is to slow down and enjoy today for what it is. Tomorrow may not come, but if it does, let’s worry about it tomorrow. For all of us aging rockers, that is a poignant message.
“Tattoos & Misery,” the record’s first single, is the best song on the album and recalls the glory days of the 80s, being lived in the current decade. Blending the classic sound of Trixter’s debut with a touch of modern rock, “Tattoos & Misery” harkens back to the bad relationships of high school days while staying rooted in the modern template of today’s relationship struggles. Pete Loran’s voice is strong on this single and the harmony vocals by P.J. Farley and Steve Brown are exceptional. If you’re looking for a summer song to blast out of the stereo while cruising the highway with the windows down, this would be a solid choice.
It’s nice to see Trixter return to recording new material after a long absence. If New Audio Machine is any indication of the creativity that the band has left in them, then I can only hope that Trixter continues to record new material. New Audio Machine is the perfect blend of old and new, a worthy disc to reconnect fans with a long lost, often forgotten, solid rock and roll band. New Audio Machine is definitely worth checking out.
Rating: Out of 10
New Audio Machine is available in stores now! Get yours here!
- Drag Me Down
- Get On It
- Dirty Love
- Live For The Day
- Physical Attraction
- Tattoos & Misery
- The Coolest Thing
- Save Your Soul
- Walk With A Stranger
Pete Loran – Vocals
Steve Brown – Guitar
P.J. Farley – Bass
Mark “Gus” Scott – Drums