NEW AUDIO MACHINE
Definitely an interesting release, to say the least. While I consider guitarist Steve Brown a music friend of sorts, I can't say in any way that I was EVER a Trixter fan. Being completely honest, they were kind of like the pilot light of bands that came after all the good ones were out and established in the 80s. After the "name" bands of the 80s - Dokken, Ratt, Poison, Warrant, Motley Crue, etc., you had this wave - Trixter, Kik Tracee, Alias, and to some degree Firehouse. That's not to say that I hated every song that second wave had, but I can pretty honestly say I hated all of their albums.
Coming into a new Trixter album, as you can imagine from above, I wasn't exactly anticipating anything great. Funny thing though, but after a few listens to NEW AUDIO MACHINE, this new, mature Trixter is leaps and bounds better than the original work of the band. Age has seemingly taken away a lot of the primping and cheese factor that made these guys pretty much intolerable when they debuted. While this music is still clearly out of the 80s metal sound, it's just better than what they did in the past. Songs like "Dirty Love" are especially pleasing. This song clearly has all the cliches in it, but that worked back then and still does if you are a fan of the genre. That song is almost like an amalgamation of Warrant and Def Leppard, but with better guitar work than either of those bands ever presented. The "Warrant" part of the equation comes from vocalist Pete Loran always reminded many people of Jani Lane vocally, and he does throughout as well. Add to that, some very big, arena like gang vocals in the chorus (a la Def Leppard), and you will get an accurate picture of what's going on here.
As was the case in their first go around, Steve Brown is the reason people gravitated to this band. He's a disciple of Eddie Van Halen, and while you can hear that in some of his playing, it's more of a cross between Van Hagar era and the tones of Marc Diglio on the first XYZ album. That's not bad at all. Brown and the band show some diversity on songs like "Live For The Day"; a toned down, mid-tempo rocker with a hook big enough to catch a killer whale.
PITRIFF RATING - 83/100 - This really is not a bad effort...not bad at all. If nothing else, this should be the blueprint that other bands from the 80s use if they decide to regroup and give it another go. Solid songs written in the style of their era, but not written to simply sound like 10 new versions of their big hit. It's interesting that there's not a single song here that reminded me, at all, of "Give It To Me Good", which is a very good thing for these guys.