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Mox Nix - 1985 Mox Nix



ARTIST: Mox Nix
ALBUM: Mox Nix
LABEL: Axe Killer
SERIAL: 7023
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2001, Axe Killer, 3068342 * 2013, Minotauro, M 2013-6

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Johnny Duff - vocals, guitars * Bruce Tousneau - guitars * Robert Fernandez - bass * Joe Vernagalio - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fight Back * 02 Ready Or Not * 03 Reckless * 04 Lost Sierra * 05 Never Again * 06 Steal The Show * 07 Scream For Mercy * 08 Make It * 09 Kill Or Be Killed * 10 Stand Alone * 11 Fools Game * 12 Don't Push Your Love


Background
A very interesting Houston TX band who were in operation between 1982 and 1991. Interesting name too.. Mox Nix is a play on words from a German phrase 'machts nicht' which basically means 'nothing' or 'whatever..'. The phrase was common among American GI's in Germany at the time. Not surprising because most of them couldn't count the fingers on their hand at the best of times! Mox Nix the band took their queue from the influential bands of the era, and you hear it in their music. Particularly Y & T, Riot, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. It is a hugely impressive slab of metal. So how did the band get signed on the French label Axe Killer back in 1984/85 all the way from the Lone Star State? Well, it seems they sent their demo 'All Access' to numerous European magazines (Kerrang etc) and this is how Axe Killer got involved, and hence released this their one and only album.


The Songs
Leading off with 'Fight Back', it is a galloping event of Iron Maiden induced madness, in the same vein as their chestnut 'Aces High'. Following up with 'Ready Or Not' you'd swear you were listening to Y & T's 'Earthshaker', this one is a classic song in the making. More Maiden like comparisons can be thrown at 'Reckless' though the fantastic lead guitar work is very American. The power of Mox Nix can be heard clearly on 'Lost Sierra', this one has a slight similarity to fellow Texans Helstar. More double-bass drum antics can be heard on 'Never Again', even Bruce Dickinson would be impressed with this one. Both 'Steal A Show' and 'Make It' are a return to the classic days of Y & T, lots of stomping bass lines and Meniketti/Alves guitar riffing. As you expect with the title 'Kill Or Be Killed' is frantic manic stuff.. as close to thrash as you can get without being called such. The album ends with the power ballad 'Stand Alone', a winding down of sorts after all the metal that has gone before.



In Summary
How the heck did this band miss the calling card for success? Judging upon this album from 1985, they are head and shoulders above most of the assembled riff raff from that year. On a bigger label this lot could've been a major band, even alive and well today I would hazard a guess. This tremendous album was re-released by Axe Killer in 2001 despite them being out of business for many years between 1986 and into the 90's. So the 'Mox Nix' album is out there in CD format though it might be hard to track down now despite this. The band did prepare for a second album, and even worked with the likes of Paul DiAnno, Alex Peralis and Rob 'Wacko' Hunter of Raven. Tracks such as 'Fools Game', 'Don't Push Your Love', 'Lightning Without Thunder' and 'Red Planet' are rumored to have come from those sessions. Listening to these songs, I am also reminded of other bit-part bands such as Fifth Angel, Lion (particularly the Kal Swann styled vocals of Johnny Duff) and Silent Rage. So if any of those bands do it for you, then you won't need any invitation. Despite the obvious influences, this mainly comes off as a classic case of American metal (Y & T) meets British metal (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest). If this intriguing combination gets the blood flowing then you probably should track it down. Unfortunately the band are longer in operation, even though they could quite fit nicely in today's 21st century metal scene. You just never know if a comeback is on the cards..


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Comments
#1 | swazi on February 07 2010 14:41:48
The more appropriate translation of 'Macht nichts' (Mox Nix) is 'Doesn't matter'.
 
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