Monday, March 12, 2007

KIX 'Midnight Dynamite'

I had a couple of days last week where I was in a foul mood. I mean a FOUL mood. And for some reason, there was no reason at all. My foul mood couldn’t be explained. I wasn’t angry with anyone, but I took it out on a lot of friends. I wasn’t angry with my job and it didn’t affect my performance. I think I was just in a funk. I’ve been told that even we guys have a monthly where our biorhythms get in an uproar.

Friday night, I got home and put on a self-prescribed compact disc… KIX ‘Blow My Fuse’. It made me feel a little better and I had a good Saturday afternoon at the Summer Camp Craze & Kid Expo.

And when I got home on Saturday, I doled out another self-prescription… KIX ‘Midnight Dynamite’.

That, my friends, did the trick. After realizing its defeat, my bad mood packed it bags and decided to move along.

KIX was the band that should have been bigger than they were. It may sound bad, but I’m kind of glad they didn’t achieve Bon Jovi-like success. KIX are kind of like a secret.

Their first two albums were kind of hard rock meets new wave with a splash of punk attitude. They were very good albums with close resemblance to Hanoi Rocks. The third one ‘Midnight Dynamite’, was their masterpiece. It meshed all those things together as their rock got harder. To put it in perspective… Think AC/DC with funk, heavy melody, and a chorus of cheerleaders.

‘Midnight Dynamite’ was produced by Beau Hill who gave Ratt the fuel it needed to conquer the Earth in 1984. Every song on ‘Midnight Dynamite’ is a keeper. And with listening to it again last Saturday, I noticed several things that I never noticed before. Not only does the album beg to be played loud, but with that volume I noticed how well the songs are crafted. Often at times, the guitars are all doing something different and layered perfectly over each other. I also noticed how Donnie Purnell uses melody on the bass guitar during the song “Walkin’ Away”. I have probably heard that album over a thousand times and it took a bad mood to really listen to it… To hear it.

What I’ve always liked about KIX was their sense of humor. Sly humor abounds on songs from ‘Midnight Dynamite’… “Walkin’ Away” (…And I get my hair just right…), “Lie Like A Rug” (Lie in the bedroom… Lie in the tub… LIE!…. You lie like a rug…), and “Sex” (…My door’s always open, my phone’s on the hook… My mailbox is waiting, my name’s in the book… Got ads in the paper, but nobody cares… Apartment is lonely, the action is upstairs…).

The jewel case to my CD has probably seen the same amount of miles that I’ve taken to see KIX perform live. The surface has many scratches, fingerprints, and a few odd stains. The edges of the jewel case aren’t as sharp as they once were. My CD has even outlasted 3 cars during that time.

Whenever KIX was within 150 miles of Greensboro, I would be there. I even met them by chance at a Wendy’s in Raleigh.

On the east coast, KIX owned the hard rock clubs. When they hit the stage, they were in your face. You didn’t see them wandering around back stage until they were announced. You heard the announcer and the next thing you knew, KIX came from behind the stacks of amplifiers and boxed your ears with their opening song. They didn’t dilly-dally. They were the Goddamned KIX band (their words, not mine) and they were taking no prisoners.

KIX always takes me back to good times. I remember riding around with Tracy Thornton in his convertible MGB listening to a cassette tape of ‘Midnight Dynamite’ during the summer of 1985. I remember hearing it in Jonathan Everett’s Camaro as we rode with the windows down. I remember driving around with the windows down and cranking that joker up in my ‘73 Gran Torino. I remember seeing KIX with my friends. I remember seeing the same people (you know… those you see all the time, but never actually talk to) traveling from show to show just to see KIX.

‘Midnight Dynamite’ is definitely “road tunes”. I highly recommend it for highway use or rural roads where you can roll those windows down.

Feel free to purchase a copy of ‘Midnight Dynamite’ for yourself this spring. Get the CD or download it. Let the album blossom in your music collection.

And who knows… It may just turn into your “bad mood chaser” or “happy pill”.

For those who only want a taste of KIX on your Ipods and other digital devices… I suggest downloading these three songs wherever you purchase MP3’s.

“Cold Shower”

“Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”

“Cold Blood”


  1. Anonymous12:20 PM

    Light the corners of Eugene's mind
    Misty water-colored memories
    Of the way Eugene was

  2. As long as you're dissing me and not the once mighty KIX, then we're cool.