Fireworks

Ryan Roxie - 'The Roxie Box' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 25, 2012    
 
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A treasure trove of hard to find, deleted and rare gems.

Ryan Roxie cut his recording teeth with the glamtastic Electric Angels before hooking up with ex-Guns n` Roses guitarists Slash and Gilby Clarke in different projects.  He soon came to the attention of non-other than Alice Cooper who invited him to join his band in 1996.  After ten years and four albums with Cooper, Roxie quit to spend time with his young family before ultimately re-joining the band earlier this year after over 6 years away.

In between recording the excellent Apocalyptic Youth with his own band Casablanca and rehearsing for the upcoming Alice Cooper tour, Roxie found time to put together a comprehensive box set of his band and solo work over the years. The 4 disc extravaganza features the long out of print Dad`s Porno Mag, ‘DPM’ album; Roxie 77`s ‘Peace, Love and Understanding’ and the previously download only double album ‘Two Sides to Every Story’ rounding things off with a bonus disc of rarities. Collected together in a personally autographed box and for those that pre-order, the chance to win a signed guitar and other exclusive memorabilia, this is certainly a real treat for fans of Ryan Roxie.

‘DPM’ has become a much sought after collector’s item over the years and becoming increasingly hard to find so it`s a much welcomed addition to this collection. Its rough and ready super charged Power Pop was a breath of fresh air when it was released back in 1997.  The delightfully titled ‘Smell My Finger’ and the Kiss stomp of ‘Big Fat Song’ were loud, proud and a lot of fun. ‘Peace Love and Understanding’ was a huge leap forward in terms song writing and overall production. Crammed full of soaring melodies, sumptuous harmonies  and ravenous  guitars,  name checking the likes of The Beatles, Cheap Trick, Enuff Z`nuff and the sadly long  defunct Jellyfish along the way. With a far more diverse range of styles than earlier projects Roxie tackled the groovelicious ‘Beat `Em’, the rampant Punk Pop of ‘Control Freak’ alongside the trademark melodies of ‘My Girlfriend’.  It wasn`t all rowdy, up-tempo stuff with the touching ‘Second Chance’ and the wistful, dreamy ‘On The Way Down’ showing a more sensitive side to Roxie.

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With ‘Two Sides to Every Story’, Roxie upped the ante further with an ambitious double album featuring eleven songs in both full electric and acoustic format.  What is clear is that even in stripped down form the incredible melodies simply sparkle throughout. What keeps the album focused is that the acoustic versions are not just plain acoustic copies of the electric songs; in some case the arrangements and delivery are totally reworked.  This is none more evident than on ‘Gimme Some Groove’, a  bold, strutting sassy statement in electric form yet the acoustic version hints towards Elvis Presley.  Great stuff !! ‘This Year’ tips its hat towards Oasis with an inspiring, positive message while ‘Choice’ scales to the peak of the Power Pop mountain. ‘Two Sides to Every Story’ covers all of the influences shown on the earlier recordings and is a bold testament to his knack for penning truly memorable and highly melodic songs.

Possibly of greatest interest to the Roxie aficionados is the final disc which contains a gamut of outtakes, demos and unreleased material going back years to his days with The Silver Blackouts and Bye Bye Kitty.    The trashy sleaze of ‘Big Brown Eyes’ and ‘U Only Go Round Once’ features enough glam and glitter to keep even the most ardent Poison fan happy while ‘When You See God’ is the opposite end of the spectrum, deep, moving and entrancing. The Funky Black Crowes style of ‘1965’ and the classy epic ‘The Rise and Fall of Major Kristi’ dispel the notion that outtakes are throwaways for a reason.  While one wonders why on earth gems of the quality of the Psychedelic tinged ‘The Next Big Nothing’, the anthemic Punk fired ‘C`mon Raiders’ and the multi layered harmonies of ‘Life in a Day’ have been lying around in a record company vault for so long.

All in all ‘The Roxie Box’ is a treasure trove of hard to find, deleted and rare gems from the pen of one of the finest Power Pop Rockers around.  Anyone wanting an early Christmas present should head over to the web site above and pre order now  in time for an early December release, as this fine limited edition box set won`t be around for ever.

Mick Burgess

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