By McKenna Filijan
As a 19-year old girl and someone with no background knowledge of who Trixter is, my assumptions of their music were not completely wrong after a swift Google image search brought up pictures of a stereotypical longhaired dude band from the late 80’s. After getting a good image of glam rock and muscle Tees in my head, I listened to “Human Era”, their newest studio album that will be released on June 9th in North America. The new tracks have a same sweet consistency of their previous albums, with heavy power chords and drum beats that are thoroughly laminated with vocals of lead singer Pete Loran, creating a reminiscently satisfying cousin to classic glam rock legends like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard.
The opening track “Rockin to The Edge of the Night” was as powerful as the title intends, easing into a nice smooth chorus with hints of nostalgia from any late 80’s ballad. I felt my hair gain volume with each power chord shredded by lead guitarist Steve Brown. Next was the rebel anthem “Crash That Party”, with aggressive and quick guitar riffs that displayed effortless badass-ery. The track featured samples of police sirens and a lowly hovering helicopter, which only emphasized the lyrics “a disarray of society, not caring if we live or die”. “Not Like The Rest” seeped nice, thick, happy and melodious vocals, and ironically did not sound like the previous tracks but more of a 70’s love ballad.
The 4th track “For You” immediately catches the listener’s ear with a different sound, opening with a rushed drum beat by drummer Gus Scott, and is quickly iced with an energetic and swift guitar riff. Although the minimalist qualities of the song are meant to highlight the vocals and the guitar solo, as the chorus hits, the tempo sounds more jumbled, hurried, and mix-matched rather than the assumed clean harmonic mesh, which isn’t really “For Me”.
“Every Second Counts” contains vocals heavy reverb skillfully backed by a sympathetic bass line from P.J. Farley, with emotional lyrics that encourage making the most of every day over a unique chord progression. Next was “Beats Me Up” with acoustic picking over some synths, relaying a more apologetic sense throughout the song to go with the crooning romantic lyrics, which was a good use of the song’s instrumental elements to capture a mood that conveys sadness.
“Good Times Now” features country-esque Sweet Home Alabama vibes and an echoing solo, followed by “Midnight In Your Eyes”, one of the stronger songs on the album with a lot of classic elements of a good rock song that painlessly came together without overdoing it. “Soul of a Lovin’ Man”, which is more of a serenade, eases in the last turn of the album, its intro with synths that sound like trumpets. Another strongly worded chorus that’s catchy and well written, yet nothing jumps out about this song. The album’s last and inevitable title track, “Human Era”, is full of emotion, masterfully pulling together the best elements of the previous songs and making it obvious as to why it was selected. The lyrics seem to articulate the band’s journey to curating the album, and they have a knack for writing rhymes that are nothing short of suave.
The album was put together with style, showing all of the time and effort invested into it clear as day, all the while still maintaining an effortless classic nonchalance. Trixter continues to pull off well-written and quality albums some 20 years later. It’s clear that their wow factor has not yet rung its final bell. Well done.
“Human Era” track listing:
01.Rockin’ to the Edge of The Night
02.Crash That Party
03.Not Like all the Rest
05.Every Second Counts
06.Beats Me Up
07.Good Times Now
08.Midnight in Your Eyes
09.All Night Long
10.Soul of a Lovin’ Man
McKenna Filijan / BackStage360
May 15th, 2015