Sunday, March 27, 2011

SGT. ROXX "Weapons of Miss Distraction"

(c) 2009 Eonian Records

  1. All You Need                                        11. Without You         
  2. Why'd You Lie                                      12. Thinkin' Of You
  3. Movin' On                                              13. Ransom
  4. Push & Squeeze                                   14. (Don't Do) What Your Mama Sayz 
  5. Million Dollar Girls                                15. 4th Time Out 
  6. Wrap Yourself                                        16. I Don't Know
  7. Don't Cry                                                 17. Psycho In The House (Live)
  8. Rockin' Horse                                         18. MyLady (Live)                               
  9. Decisions                                                19. Bread & Water
  10. Alright
Jack Adams--Lead & Backing Vocals
Darrin Laszlo--Bass & Backing Vocals
Rob Briles--Lead & Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Bob O'Connor--Lead & Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals (Tracks 1-5 and 11-16)
Scott "Grover" Weatherspoon--Lead & Rhythm Guitars (Tracks 6-10, 17-19)
Kevin Cora--Drums & Backing Vocals (Tracks 6-10, 17-19)
Scott Wilson--Drums (Tracks 1-5)
Gabriel "Gabie" Anthony--Drums (Tracks 11-16)

SGT. ROXX is another one of those bands who you have no clue why they didn't make it bigger.  Seriously, if you listen to all of the clones and wannabes that got record deals, and then listen to SGT. ROXX, there is no apparent reason other than either poor luck, bad timing, or both.  Thankfully, Eonian Records managed to put together an excellent comprehensive collection of this band so that those who knew them then could remember, and those who never had the chance to hear them could finally get the chance to hear what all the underground rumbling was about.

It's not like fans of the genre didn't know who SGT. ROXX was.  As a demo and indie trader, I have had their "Push and Squeeze" EP and "Squeeze It Some More" demos for quite some time.  Nearly all of the songs from those collections are present on this nice set from Eonian, as are a couple of live tracks.  Production has been cleaned up nicely throughout, but not all of the tracks have the same quality, which is to be understood since some of these are demo tracks and outtakes.  That doesn't take away from some of the really great songs included here.

I really wish we would have had a chance to hear a nice, clean studio version of "Psycho In The House", but this live version really shows the energy of the band.  To these ears, this track is very much in line with Skid Row from their "Slave To The Grind" era, as does the other live track, "My Lady".  "Don't Cry" is every bit the power ballad any band like Warrant or Poison released throughout their careers.  Other stand out cuts include "Rockin' Horse" with its shuffling groove, "Ransom", "Bread & Water", and "Alright", all of which feature a much tighter, dirtier, heavier sound than the first handful of songs.  That is not to say "Why'd You Lie", "Million Dollar Girls" or any of those first five songs are bad, because they are not.  But later on, we really see the band grow in confidence in their songwriting and performance and a band that has found its sound.  I just wish a big label would have found them as well.

This release features excellent packaging, as is typical of most Eonian releases.  I would love to see Eonian put out another set of SGT. ROXX tunes, including the small handful that was not included here, some more live tracks, and perhaps a reunion song or two.  SGT. ROXX is one of the bands of the "hair era" that shoulda, woulda, coulda, been huge, and I just want the rest of the fanbase out there to have a chance to hear all these guys had to offer.

Rating:  Crank this one to 8.5!

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1 comment:

  1. Chicago represent! This is an excellent collection. A bit of recent trivia... Sgt. Roxx took the stage at 2009's "Thirsty Whale Reunion" (a legendary club in the Chicago suburbs that was torn down). Hopefully the band can be enticed to record some new material like another Chicago band, Gynger Lynn did last year. Another Chi Town band worth mentioning is O'Dette. They put out an EP in the 80's. I saw them open up for D'Molls a couple years ago and they still rock! I'm hoping they put something new out as well.