Formed in 1977, the hard rock band from Hagerstown, Maryland broke into the mainstream music scene with their fourth album, the platinum selling Blow My Fuse in 1988. After releasing two more albums that did not have the same success, KIX wouldn’t release another album for almost 20 years. In 2014, they released Rock Your Face Off.
Following up that release, the band put together a documentary detailing all the time and hard work they put into creating new music. The biggest challenge was writing the music itself. Former bass player and author of most of the band’s previous songs, Donnie Purnell, was no longer with the group. Not only did they need to work with all the new technological advances in recording, but they needed to create an album that sounded like a true KIX album. With help from Mark Schenker, bass player since 2004, and producer Taylor Rhodes, who they worked with on past albums on songs like “Cold Blood” and “Girl Money,” the band did their best to maintain their signature sound.
The documentary wasn’t filmed in a high-tech recording studio, but with all the advances in recording equipment the entire album was recorded in Schenker’s own home. The viewers are exposed not only to the recording and writing processes, but there are several rock artists, including Nuno Bettencourt, Jaime St. James, and Chip Z'Nuff, who speak about their own personal experiences with the band and express their respect as well. Lzzy Hale of Halestorm is a huge fan as she talks about her early career experiences, how they helped her with her own career, and how singer Steve Whiteman’s vocal lessons have done wonders with her own singing abilities and stamina. Interspersed between the interviews and studio footage are live versions of some of the new songs.
Overall, the documentary is interesting and enjoyable to watch. It’s not a high-budget production which is obvious when during one of the interviews with guitar player Brian Forsythe, someone flushes the toilet in the next room stopping the interview. It is funny, but also a little strange. The live music has a great quality to it and backs up all the hype that the rockers give the group.
The second disc in the release is a CD containing all new live recordings by the band. The songs sound very full and rich. The signature two-guitar sound works well on the recordings and Whiteman’s vocals sound as strong as they ever have. Obviously, his daily vocal exercises have paid off over all these years. The first 10 songs of the 12 track CD were all recorded as one full-length concert broken up by Whiteman’s infamous audience banter.
KIX and '80s heavy metal fans will not be disappointed with this new release. Not only does the two-disc DVD/CD set, Can't Stop The Show: The Return Of KIX stay true to the music they’ve come to know, but it’s nice to hear some true rock 'n' roll music in a world that’s dominated my pop and auto tune.
CAN’T STOP THE SHOW: THE RETURN OF KIX CD TRACK LISTING:
1. Wheels In Motion (Live)
2. Rock Your Face Off (Live)
3. Cold Shower (Live)
4. Mean Miss Adventure (Live)
5. You’re Gone (Live)
6. Cold Blood (Live)
7. Can’t Stop The Show (Live)
8. Girl Money (Live)
9. Love Me With Your Top Down (Live)
10. Blow My Fuse (Live)
11. Love Pollution (Live at Sirius/XM)
12. Midnite Dynamite (Live at Sirius/XM)