Album Review : Daxx & Roxane (Self-titled)

Review by Peter Coates –

Self-titled album – released May 8th 2020

The second album from London-based Swiss rockers Daxx & Roxane has been at least partly crowd-funded, and is the follow up to their 2017 debut Ticket To Rock.  Produced by Colin Parkinson (ex Inglorious) and demanded to be played LOUD, this shows a development towards a more sophisticated and mature sounding record – still very much a few-frills rock album, but with a bit more polish.

Caught out in the middle of the UK tour in March 2020, aimed at promoting the new record and cut short by Covid-19, the band are one of the New Wave of Classic Rock movement that is going from strength to strength in the UK.

The overall sound rages from the Airbourne meets Aerosmith frenzy of Sugar Rush and first single Fast Lane, through The Cult-like Broken to the absolute belter of Give It Time which is pure classic hard rock with a bit of that European / Scandinavian melodic tinge to it.

The single Fast Lane opens up the record and while it is an all-in balls-out rocker, it is not totally representative of the rest of the songs on the record, so when listening to the album make sure you don’t make any decisions based on the opening track.  Nothing wrong with a testosterone-fuelled ripper to get you going, and the opening bars of Fast Lane are just that, but Strange Woman that powers up next has got all the hallmarks of a heavy blues rock anthem, with the Led Zep guitars and the crowd-chorus before Cal Wymann tears into the guitar solo, and the dual-guitar riff that drives the track along.

Without You has the energy and the hooks to match, energy pouring from Cedric Pfister on the vocals and some punchy drumming from Luca Senaldi, and a fantastic harmony chorus, and another trademark solo from Cal.   Broken opens up with a brooding guitar intro before the band storms in to the up-tempo number which gives a nod to The Cult in the melody of the chorus.  Dawn could be by a different band, with a very different feel to this instrumental, almost medieval in the intricate early guitar work, and then allowing Cal to let rip with some massive power-chords over the pile-driving drums, backed by a wall of backing howls.

There is a similar feel to the heartfelt power- ballad Heal, which shows off the range of Cedric’s voice, and as the second single from the record, this has just made it to track of the week in Classic Rock Magazine which is no mean feat.  I just love everything about Give It Time, with the strut and swagger delivered in spades, some awesome harmonies in the pre-chorus, and a chorus laden with hooks.  Add to that a superb piece of shredding in the solo before the band piles back into the chorus.  The only disappointment is the fade-out – this one deserved a huge stadium finish!

Someone I Love is straight from the Reckless Love songbook and motors along driven by the bass and drums to the twin-guitar harmonies in the solo, and delivers a real pop-rock punch.  A ZZ-Top riff kicks of Get To It before a classic double-guitar riff that has all the hallmarks of those original NWOBHM bands, and the song just keeps the feet tapping and head-nodding all the way.

A cover of the Willie Dixon 1960 Chicago-blues number, made initially famous by Howlin’ Wolf, and then rocked up by The Doors in 1967, Back Door Man is a pretty standard blues rock number that features some superb harmonica playing, but otherwise seems not to really fit the rest of the album.

The band rescues the potential dip to the end of the record with the high-energy rocker that is Sugar Rush…..taking all the energy of Airbourne and AC/DC and a well-worn formula to provide what will certainly be a barnstormer of a live track, with the ending the song deserves.  

A band I had heard a lot of good things about, but never experienced until receiving this album – I have definitely been impressed with this record, and look forward to catching the band live at some point in the UK.

Pre-order the album : 

Online Release Party – MAY 8th at 6.30pm UK time / 3.30am AEST – LIVE ON YOUTUBE

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