Trixter

Trixter

Trixter was another hair metal album that appeared very early in 1990. Boasting the upbeat Give It to Me Good, the surprisingly good ballad Surrender, and cliche, but fantastic One in a Million, Trixter's debut shines brightly on a few occassions.

Trixter: Gives It to Us Good by making us Ride the Whip, Surrender, and Play Rough

Rating

I give Trixer a 710

Why is every album generally a 7? Because they have some good tunes. We haven’t gotten to bad hair metal albums yet. Which, coincidentally, there are none, because hair metal is like pizza, always somewhat decent.

Track listing

  1. Line of Fire
  2. Heart of Steel
  3. One in a Million
  4. Surrender
  5. Give It to Me Good
  6. Only Young Once
  7. Bad Girl
  8. Always a Victim
  9. Play Rough
  10. You’ll Never See Me Cryin’
  11. Ride the Whip
  12. On and On

Trixter notes

Line of Fire

Line of Fire is your standard hair metal album opener, a persistent beat that drives toward a defiant pre-chorus, followed by a (pseudo) brash chorus. Like, “yeah, i’m tough, what of it?”

Oh gosh, he just used most of those words. Trixter wrote the book on being tough I guess. Here, Henry Rollins, hold Trixter’s beer …

Like any glam metal band lead guitarist, Steve Brown has all the requisite riffs, licks, solos, etc. Nothing revolutionary, just does his job.

Update: So, Steve Brown is way more badass than we originally thought. He is currently filling in for Phil Collen for Def Leppard’s tour. More than that, he filled in for Vivian Campbell prior.

When he isn’t filling in for members of Def Leppard, he is part of 80’s tribute band, Rubix Kube. No no, this isn’t like the 36 year old ultra backup hockey goalie getting in the game, Steve Brown was in the major leagues with Triter.

Ok, just doing his job … where were we … Here: Which brings up a good point that I’ve made before - which is - music sucks today.

Heart Of Steel

Another Photograph knock off riff, similar to Danger Danger’s Beat The Bullet.

All in all, I really do like this song. Rather, I love this chord progression across ALL bands. I don’t even care what they are saying, just give me THIS music, always.

If I’m Trixter, I rework this song to be called Heart of Steel (Panther) and I re-release it. No? Ok, that’s too much, you’re right.

Brown ranges the fretboard on the solo. Sticks the landing.

One in a Million

The video has a huge “Yeahhhhh” that the album version lacks.

Anyway, this is the hit. More importantly, I love it. I’m a sucker for Ooooohs and Aaaaaahs.

This song does beg the major question … if someone is One in a Million, than there are PLENTY of other people out there that would satisfy the requirement, right?

Boss Gibson explorer for the solo in the video.

Surrender

FOURTH TRACK BALLAD! Best slot on the album for a ballad. My cousin(s) made fun of me for listening to fluff like Surrender, but who was the one calling his girlfriend via the lone outdoor payphone next to the ski lodge?

He was, cause he had one. Damnit.

The lyrics to Surrender are surprisingly acceptable. Though, it feels like some keyword stuffing with “Blaze of glory”, “If love means war”, and “I’d give my life tonight to hold you in my arms again” …

Emotional solo. Passable. Bringing it back for one more chorus.

Ok, turn down the distortion …

raise the acoustic …

vox …

backing vox (check)

vox …

“Baby I’ll defend ya” - SEE! Boy band. Loran was Nick Lachey before Nick Lachey was Nick Lachey.

Fade it out with YEAHHHHHs over “Baby let’s surrender”. That’s some middle school slow dance stuff right there, folks!

Give It to Me Good

You can see the beginning of the end for hair metal right here in the Give It to Me Good video: less rips in their jeans, heads shaved down the sides despite the long hair, and flannel. Flannel I tell you! FLANNEL!

Even the songwriting has a jangly acoustic, piano-backed Black Crowes feel. Also, the video babes are more … clothed than their predecessors. And, they participate as equals in the field games. Not exactly leading the #MeToo movement, but (somewhat?) better than before.

Saaaaame lyrical content though. The more things change …

Once again, Pete Loran is pretty enough to have been in LFO. Just saying …

Only Young Once

Arpeggiated beginning. Always appreciated. What is he even saying? Too many pronouns.

If I know anything from 80s hair metal, once you’ve got that look in your eye, there is only two outcomes

Only Young Once really skirts the metaphorical line.

Unexpected breakdown at 4:00. Didn’t expect the inspirational speech there.

“PLAY BY THE RULESSSS!”

How many choruses are in this song?!?! I’ve lost count.

STILL time to toss in the fading chorus shredding underneath the Ohhhhhs. Love it. This is how you write a tune.

Bad Girl

Big bad bluesy riff. Pluck those strings, rev up those P90s.

Girls who do things that bad boys like are the favorite girls of all 80s hair metal bands.

Wait, how does only “she know” when you ask the question “Devil or Angel?” - you are the one boasting of her talents, jerk.

Steve Brown flexs some interesting guitar techniques midway through Bad Girl.

Always a Victim

Great vocal runs here in Always a Victim.

Lyrics? Not as much. “If this is a crime, you’ll be convicted … blah blah …. Always a Victim!”

Always a Victim keeps the album going, it’s a serviceable track.

Play Rough

Ohhhh, harmonized guitar has got my attention. A few unexpected notes thrown in. Changing strumming patterns hold that attention.

Play Rough! What rhymes with that? Stand Tough! “Hey, Pete, you really stretched for that lyric. Eh, Bro?”

80s Hair Metal Lesson #6 : Love ain’t no game.

Farley and Scott, the rhythm section, hit hard on Play Rough.

You’ll Never See Me Cryin

Got an Asia “Heat of the Moment” opening. Ouch on the lyrics. Really, they aren’t good. The Def Leppard chorus and a decent solo saves this song from terrible and complete failure.

Wait, a music breakdown at 3:05. This sounds great. Loran, DON’T sing anymore on this track. Damnit, Loran!

Ok, back to awful song. I miss that breakdown already. Well, at least we get a double solo out of it. The double solo is always a treat, even in an album’s worst track, like You’ll Never See Me Cryin.

Ride the Whip

Strong blues start. Dig the walking bass. More keyword stuffing, but tolerable this time. Ride the Whip has eased some of the pain of You’ll Never See Me Cryin.

This might be the most fun track on the album.

4:05 - now that is how you end a tune. Oh, there is more … I expected a quicker fade out. You know what, I liked that ending a bunch.

On and On

STRAIGHT. FORWARD. LYRIC. WRITING.

Loran sounds a bit like Jovi. Unsurprising, both from Jersey. Probably was in a Bon Jovi cover band at Paramus High.

The song is so plain and average, boring way to round out the albun.