Published on January 23rd, 2017 | by Justin G.
Kick Axe: Rock the World
Originally released in 1986, Rock the World was the third (and for a long time, final) album from too often overlooked Canadian hard rockers Kick Axe. How this band never achieved more mainstream success is a mystery to me, as they are as good if not better than most of their 80’s era peers.
Rock the World straddles that fine line between hard rock and heavy metal, and they do it in a way that should appeal to both camps. I suppose Kick Axe’s sound was closer to hard rock, but it’s got an edge and an epic quality that most “hair bands” never had. The music is melodic and accessible, but still hard hitting. The closest equivalents are probably Leatherwolf, Dokken, and to some extent Fifth Angel. The whole album rocks, but my favorite songs are the title track, “Warrior”, “The Dark Crusade” and the completely awesome cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”. I’m not a Fleetwood Mac fan by any means, but I have to admit that is a terrific song, especially in the hands of a band like Kick Axe.
Rock the World works on just about every possible level. It’s at least close to “must have” status as an 80’s rock album, commercial metal album, and Canadian rock album. Seriously, if you’re a fan of any/all of these genres, you really need to have some Kick Axe in your collection, and Rock the World may be the best of the bunch.
Reissue Notes: Rock the World has seen a couple of different reissues over the years. Until now, the best version was the 2005 MTM Classix reissue, which had remastered audio and the bonus studio track “Piece of the Rock.” The reissue experts at the Rock Candy label gave us a really nice reissue of Rock the World this year. It features a new remastering, which sounds fantastic (not that the MTM audio was bad, but Rock Candy does this so well), the original cover artwork and a booklet loaded with vintage photos and a very detailed band history by Classic Rock scribe Malcolm Dome. “Piece of the Rock” is not included, nor are the songs the band recorded as Spectre General for the Transformers soundtrack, which is a bit disappointing. Still, having this out of print gem back in circulation and sounding better than ever is a very good thing.
Summary: You got the first two. You know you need this.