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Articles Home » 1986 Articles » Kick Axe - 1986 Rock The World
Kick Axe - 1986 Rock The World

ARTIST: Kick Axe
ALBUM: Rock The World
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2005, MTM Classix, 0681-139 * 2005, Elfin Stone Music (Self Released), ESM D 1030 * 2016, Rock Candy Records, CANDY338-


LINEUP: George Criston - lead vocals * Larry Gillstrom - guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Victor Langen - bass, keyboards, backing vocals * Brian Gillstrom - drums, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rock The World * 02 The Chain * 03 Red Line * 04 Devachan * 05 Warrior * 06 We Still Remember * 07 The Great Escape * 08 Medusa * 09 The Dark Crusade * 10 Magic Man * 11 Piece Of The Rock


The 1984-85 years were productive ones for Canadians Kick Axe. However, by 1986 things were on the slide, with the departure of guitarist Ray Harvey, and the exit of record label Pasha. Backs against the wall, Kick Axe found themselves like flotsam and jetsam upon the swirly seas of record label politics, and eventually washed upon the shore of CBS Canada, who offered them a lifeline for album number three: 'Rock The World'. Produced by the band's guitarist Larry Gillstrom and recorded in Vancouver, this LP returned to the heaviness of 'Vices', while keeping some retention on the melodic nature of 'Welcome To The Club'. To my way of thinking, the band sounded very close to American rockers King Kobra and Icon.

The Songs
So what of the songs? I reckon they sound great. Put it this way, I enjoyed them far more than the previous two albums. Quite why they didn't trust their own instincts to play like this earlier is a real shame. Too little too late as they say. The title track gets us going, and the band get crackin' as soon as the needle lands. Big double-kick drums propels this one like a V8! A cover of the Fleetwood Mac track 'The Chain' is next. Obviously nothing like the original, but quite good given its heavier variation. 'Redline' and 'Great Escape' hit the accelerator, while tracks such as 'Warrior' and 'Medusa' are given the slow-burn and intense treatment. 'The Dark Crusade' comes across like early Fifth Angel and is one of my favourite tracks here. The closer 'Piece Of The Rock' should be familiar to King Kobra followers, as that track appeared on their debut 'Ready To Strike'.

In Summary
All in all, a solid record, which as expected, went nowhere fast, probably as a result of alienating the fanbase with the previous years record 'Welcome To The Club'. As history would show, CBS Canada would feature two of Kick Axe's song on the soundtrack to the 'The Transformers - The Movie', but under a different bandname: Spectre General. This was the beginning of the end for the band who pursued legal proceedings, and then removed themselves from CBS Canada's roster in 1987. The band folded the year after. The band reunited for 2004's 'IV' album but with a different singer Daniel Nargrand. In the current day, Kick Axe are a going concern, having reunited for the classic rockers circuit in Canada, with the lineup being: Langen, the two Gillstrom's, Ray Harvey and Nargrand.

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#1 | gdazegod on February 22 2017 01:47:49
The history of this record is confusing. Discogs states that Pasha Records did have a release for this album, but they never issued it. CBS Canada came onboard, and the album was released during the Nthn spring (April 1986). It wasn't until 1987 that an American label Mercenary, released it. But by then, the band were on their last legs. I wonder if the Rock Candy liner notes goes into some detail, including the Spectre General nonsense..
#2 | Nick C on February 22 2017 09:34:50
I'm kind of the other way about - When Rock the World was released I thought it was a bit of a let down at the time especially after the bombast that was Vices and the brilliant (IMHO) Welcome to the Club, which is the KA album that gets played the most in Chateau Clarkson, the sound seemed thin and I could have done without the Fleetwood Mac cover. I since picked up the MTM version of this, and needless to say my opinion of RtW has risen since grabbing it and it sounds better (it had been re-mastered) ... but I could still do without The Chain.
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