Viceroy Crux – “Round Dice”
Viceroy Crux are a three piece led by Terry Stirling Jr, who is the writer, singer and guitarist. They are a brand new American band with Ryan Bradley and Tim Hockwald making up the full line up. They are described as having roots that feed from classic hard rock and punk as well as modern alternative rock.
Opening track “Rise Above” has a real old school, eighties metal sound, it’s all guitar shredding and solos with some huge choruses. It’s certainly a rocking opening to the album. It’s a style that is also present on “Another Sunrise”, which is the type of track that would have been all over MTV or RAW Power (for those UK based readers of a certain age!). The pace gets even quicker on “Enjoy The Rise”, which also has a more sleazy feel to it. It is reminiscent of Skid Row, but at their more commercial early days. In contrast, “Red Flags” adds a bit more of a funky beat and has an overall darker and more menacing feel.
On this type of album, it is almost inevitable that there will be at least one epic, almost ballad, type song. Viceroy Crux certainly hit this mark with “Legend Made”, which will have the lighters held aloft at the live shows. It is followed up with the proper full blown ballad of “Lately I”. This is the one that would have been accompanied by the black and white video portraying the band’s tough times on the road! That’s not to knock it though, as it probably would have been the break through hit that would’ve resulted in global stardom.
There can be no doubts that this record has a real ‘retro’ sound that goes back to the days when rock bands ruled not only the Sunset Strip but also the U.S. charts. In a strange way, the fact that it is so different to most other bands around at the moment, gives it a feel of being fresh. Certainly, for music fans that will recall the likes of Skid Row, Slaughter, Bullet Boys, Lillian Axe etc., it is a welcome reminder of the great music that was so popular at one stage. It will be interesting to see how Viceroy Crux promote themselves, hopefully it will be by proudly recognising their influences rather than seeking to hide it behind a need to be contemporary or, even worse, being ‘ironic’. This album has some great hard rock tunes so they should stand up and be proud.