I picked this up at a promo party the year it came out (1984), and when I say “I picked this up” I mean “this was left at my house.”
Kick Axe is a Canadian heavy metal band, and Vices was their debut album. I was all-in for punk and new wave at the time, so I didn’t even bother spinning it. My girlfriend’s little brother was down with the headbanging, though, so I took it to him.
“I don’t want that,” he said.
“Who is Kick Axe?”
“I don’t know, but they’re metal.”
“So, you’re a headbanger.”
“Kick Axe? That’s a stupid name, and the cover is even stupider.”
And so I took the album home and stuck it in my stacks where it sat for thirty years, waiting for me to start a column entitled “From the Stacks” so that it could see the light of day.
It’s not a bad album. The performances are competent and the songwriting is right there with the other pop metal of the period. Some of you might even remember “Heavy Metal Shuffle,” which got a little bit of airplay. Overall it’s a bit like listening to the metal band on an episode of CHiPs.
To date Kick Axe has knocked out three more albums, which is great for both the band and its fans, but I can’t help but wonder how much farther they may have gone if that first sleeve wasn’t worthy of a spot in the Bad Album Cover Hall Of Fame.
Want your own copy? You can pick up a used copy pretty cheap, but why not buy direct from the band and do the guys a solid? There’s nothing better than supporting your local artist. And while you are on the Kick Axe website you can see an animated GIF of the vicey guy. Bonus!