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Friday, December 16, 2005


In 1981 Kix released their self titled debut on Atlantic Records. Bill Devine and I both bought it. This was back in the day when I would buy an album based on it's cover, and the first Kix record looked promising. When Bill and I first gave it a listen, though, it wasn't quite what we were expecting. The album looked METAL, but didn't sound METAL. In those days, before Hair Metal took over (thanks Bon Jovi, Def Leppard et al), Metal was complex, Kix was not.

Where Bill and I lived in 1981, upstate New York, Punk hadn't really permeated our world. We had the Ramones, and the B-52's, and by 82 Pat Wilson and I had found the Gang of Four, but KIX didn't look like a punk band, and their sound was somewhere in the middle. We recognized the guitar tones, Gibsons through Marshalls, but the songs were very basic Rock and Roll, and the subject matter was simple boy meets slut type stuff.

We were confused, but hooked none the less. Kix's grooves were very infectious. They had my attention. In 1983, when they released their sophomore effort, Cool Kids, I bought it. It didn't go over well with anybody else. Cool Kids had a decidedly glossed feel. Guitarist Ronnie '10/10' Younkins had left the band, and with him went much of the Metal vibe. I liked the record anyway, it was quirky, poppy, punky stuff.

Kix wouldn't release another record until 1985's Midnite Dynamite, which came out when Tony Alva and I were in Maryland, which is where Kix is from. Pat Wilson ended up in Baltimore in '86, and we saw Kix at Hammerjacks a number of times. Midnite Dynamite is a great record, and Kix was a great live band. Ronnie '10/10' was back in the band. Brian 'Damage' Forsythe was the coolest man on the planet and life was good.

Then, in '88 Kix released Blow My Fuse. It sounded exactly like AC/DC. It was weak. An obvious effort to make back the ton of money Atlantic had advanced them over the past eight years. It worked. They had a mega hit with 'Don't Close Your Eyes', sold more records than ever before, and that was the end of the road for me and KIX.

I still love those first three KIX records. I always will. They combine all that's good in Rock. A Metal edge, Punk attitude, and Stones type groove.

And they've got that funny name.

All I know about Kix is, my kids love them. They enjoy them every morning...

I like that song...

"Kids like Kix for what Kix has got, Moms like Kix for what what Kix has not..."

oh you meant the band, Kix...

At shows, Fans would bring boxes of Kix cereal, and when they played their song 'Kix Are For Kids', out came the cereal....
Good post. It's hard to convince anyone who came upon Kix via the conventional avenue (MTV video for "Don't Close Your Eyes" which is the only good song on Blow My Fuse) that they were a great band.

Astonishingly good guitar playing in that band and good hook writing capabilities. ANYBODY who wound up at a Kix show had a good time.

I was always struck by the contrast of Steve Whitman's hilarity and the dead serious rocking guitar playing duo of 10/10 Yonkins and Brian "Damage" Forsythe.

Midnight Dynamite is the quintisential 80's studio production and is a frequent disc in the Alva mobile.
I only disagree in that I think 'Blow My Fuse' or 'Cold Blood' are better than 'Don't Close Your Eyes'.
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