Released: 2012, Frontiers Records
I cannot help but think of the 80s song by Alphaville, “Big In Japan” when I think of Kix, except it would be “Big In Baltimore”. And why not, the band having formed just outside Baltimore and anyone from the area knows that Kix were always a big draw at the now defunct Hammerjacks. Despite a mild flirtation with mainstream success in 1988 with the BLOW MY FUSE album, Kix has always been more of a sweaty club band whose brand of AC/DC worship has been one of the few success stories among the legion of AC/DC clones.
Presently, Kix is now a part of the nostalgia circuit, with no studio releases since 1995 and two consecutive live albums, the first recorded back in 1991 and released in 2005 and the new release LIVE IN BALTIMORE, recorded recently on Frontiers Records. However the band is writing material for a new album planned in 2013, and LIVE IN BALTIMORE is a morsel to tide over the starved fan base. With an enthusiasm that is catching, the band rips through all their classic material like it was still 1988. If you can get past Steve Whitefield’s fairly annoying spoken parts between songs you have a hell of an album, brimming with energy on classic tracks like “Cold Blood”, “Cold Shower”, and “No Ring Around Rosie.” The band sounds great, confident, and the crowd is obviously digging the vibe and the show.
Most of the classic tracks are present, the album covering twelve songs total. One slight misstep is when the band goes Led Zeppelin on us, with a painful 17 minute extended version of “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”. Whitfield fails in knowing when to pull the plug on a song that quickly wears thin. Still, considering all the goodies this is a minor complaint. Fans of the band that never got to see them perform live; this is definitely a worthy substitute especially if you pick up the accompanying DVD as well. With Kix, you know what you are getting, and if you need to feel the vibe of a sweaty club show to chase with a case of cold, cold Heineken then look no further than LIVE IN BALTIMORE.