Forgotten Gems:Rox-Violent Breed
Music For Nations
In 1982 Manchester, England's Rox came out of nowhere and made a splash with their semi-hit single “Hot Love in the City”. While most bands at the time were striving to be the next Iron Maiden or Saxon this five piece band opted instead to take the hard rock/glam sounds of Sweet and make it there own. Despite being more influenced by not only Sweet but Starze as well the band still fits in nicely with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. With Wrathchild being the only other real glam metal band at the time to make an impact in Europe Rox should have had a larger following. For whatever reason they failed to catch on despite being picked up by Music For Nations. While their 1983 Krazy Kuts EP borrowed a tad too much from Wrathchild (Wrathchild could have sued Rox it's that obvious!) Violent Breed had a more beefed up sound and edge. The band was coming into their own and label owner Martin Hooker took the group under his wing and even produced this record for them. By today's standards the production is not perfect truthfully. But for the time period it works giving Rox a more menacing approach. If you can look past the obvious Gary Glitter influences you'll find opener "Love You Like A Diamond" is pure rock and roll overdrive. Nature is filled with odd tracks like this and if I didn't know better it almost comes across as a heavy metal Eddie and the Cruisers. "I Wanna Be A Hero" sounds like LA metal. Others before me have pointed out how much it sounds like a certain W.A.S.P. song and you'll get no argument from me. "Dressed To Kill" is less glam and more heavy metal. I've it before and will say it again that nothing is better than early eighties heavy metal and this tune has it in spades. "Say Goodbye To Love" tries a little too hard to be both Tokyo Blade and Wrathchild. "Daylight Robbery" is the better take on it and is an album highlight for me. With the majority of bands trying too hard to capture Saxon's sound it is nice to see that Rox tried their hands at something different. Sure their are times when you hear Saxon come into play on Violent Breed. But, other times you hear other acts like Thin Lizzy, early Overkill, Praying Mantis and Tigertailz. Or maybe it is just me? “Wild and Crazy” sounds a lot like other early 80's heavy metal songs as does the number “Jailbait”. Is that bad though? Rox wore their influences out in public were everyone could see them. They might have just had a brief stay on the scene because they couldn't quite decide if they were heavy metal or glam but this one LP stands out because it is honest in it's approach. It is loud rock and roll more than anything and a fun album to put on when you just want to escape the modern metal world. If only someone would see fit to re-release this one though on CD. It is better than half the stuff that gets re-issued and would appeal to both glam fans and hard rockers.