Logo on album "Welcome To The Club" and "Kick Axe IV"
Logo on album "Vices"and "Rock The World"
|A Canadian bar band, Kick Axe had minor success and was able to tour with some of the biggest names in the mid-eighties before disbanding. The band was able to get signed to the label that made Quiet Riot headliners, but were never able to match the same level of stardom.
Kick Axe was formed in Regina, Saskatchewan by Larry Gillstrom (guitar), Victor Langen (vocals/bass) and his brother Gary (drums). By 1978 they added a second guitarist in Raymond Arthur Harvey and decided to relocate to Vancouver, B.C. and it's more lively music scene. Gary Langen did not move with the band and was replaced with Larry's brother Brian. The group began recording in 1979 but scrapped the sessions because they felt they needed a more distinguished frontman. Vocalist Charles McNary was brought in and the band started to make waves, even appearing on a Playboy compilation album.
McNary walked away from the band in 1981, and it would be almost two years before George Criston replaced him. Shortly after his inclusion the group landed a major label deal with Spencer Proffer's Pascha records. Vices was released to critical acclaim, and the band hit the road behind such acts as Quiet Riot, Judas Priest and Whitesnake.The third single from the album (appearing only on the cassette version), a cover of Humble Pie's "30 Days In The Hole" appeared on the Up The Creek soundtrack.
The band's follow-up strayed away from their rock anthems for a softer sound, and included a handful of guest stars. It reached the Billboard top 200, but disappointed die hard fans. Meanwhile, the group appeared on the The Transformers: The Movie soundtrack under the name of Spectre General due to U.S. legal troubles. Harvey left the band in 1986, but was never replaced. One final album, a return to their roots, was released but by then all momentum had been lost. By 1988 they were without a label and then disintegrated. Surprisingly the band reformed in 2003 with original member Gary Langen handling vocal duties for Criston who was unavailable to join the reunion due to prior work commitments. The new album entitled Kick Axe IV was released the following year, and the more mature effort was a hit with fans.