RYAN ROXIE – The Roxie Box

RYAN ROXIE - The Roxie Box
  • 9/10
    RYAN ROXIE - The Roxie Box - 9/10


R77 Records
Release date: October 2, 2012

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Having cut his recording teeth with the glamtastic Electric Angels before heading over to ply his trade with ex-Guns N’ Roses pair Slash and Gilby Clarke, Ryan Roxie was making quite a name for himself as the guitarist of choice when offered a spot in Alice Cooper’s band in 1996.  After ten years and four albums with Cooper, Roxie quit to spend time with his young family before ultimately re-joining the band earlier this year after over 6 years away.

In between recording the excellent Apocalyptic Youth with his own band Casablanca and rehearsing for the upcoming Alice Cooper tour, Roxie found time to put together a comprehensive box set of his band and solo work over the years.    The 4 disc extravaganza features the long out of print Dad’s Porno Mag, DPP album; Roxie 77’s Peace, Love And Understanding and the previously download-only double album Two Sides To Every Story rounding this off with a bonus disc of rarities.

Collected together in a personally autographed box and for those that pre-order, the chance to win a signed guitar and other exclusive memorabilia, this is certainly a real treat for fans of Ryan Roxie.

Dad’s Porno Mag’s DPM has become a much sought after collector’s item over the years and has become increasingly hard to find, so it’s a much-welcomed addition to this collection.   Originally put together by Roxie with Mike Fasano and Will Effertz,  DPM’s rough and ready supercharged Power Pop was a breath of fresh air when it was released back in 1997.  The delightfully titled “Smell My Finger”, the Nirvana-like menace of “Pigeons Are Rude” and the Kiss stomp of “Big Fat Song” were loud, proud and a lot of fun.

Roxie 77’s Peace Love and Understanding was a huge leap forward in terms song writing and overall production. Crammed full of soaring melodies, sumptuous harmonies  and ravenous  guitars  … and name checking the likes of The Beatles, Cheap Trick, Enuff Z’Nuff and the sadly long  defunct Jellyfish along the way.

With a far more diverse range of styles than earlier projects, Roxie tackled the groovelicious “Beat ‘Em”, the rampant Punk Pop of “Control Freak” mixed up alongside the trademark melodies of “My Girlfriend”.  It wasn’t all rowdy, up-tempo stuff with the touching “Second Chance” and the wistful, dreamy “On The Way Down” showing a more sensitive side to Roxie.

With Two Sides to Every Story, Roxie upped the ante further with an ambitious double album featuring eleven songs in both full electric and acoustic format.  What is clear is that even in stripped down form the incredible melodies simply sparkle throughout.

What keeps the album focused is that the acoustic versions are not just plain acoustic run throughs of the electric songs; in some case the arrangements and delivery are totally reworked.  This is none more evident than on “Gimme Some Groove”, a  bold, strutting sassy statement in electric form yet the acoustic version hints towards Elvis Presley.  Great stuff!!

“This Year” tips its hat towards Oasis with an inspiring, positive message, while “Choice” scales to the peak of the Power Pop mountain.

Two Sides To Every Story represents  arguably the pinnacle of Roxie’s output and the amalgam of all of the influences shown on the earlier recordings and a bold testament to his knack for penning truly memorable and highly melodic songs.

Possibly of greatest interest to the Roxie aficionados is the final disc which contains a gamut of outtakes, demos and unreleased material going back years to his days with The Silver Blackouts and Bye Bye Kitty.    The trashy sleaze of “Big Brown Eyes” and “U Only Go Round Once” features enough glam and glitter to keep even the most ardent Poison fan happy, while “When You See God” is the opposite end of the spectrum, deep, moving and entrancing.

The Funky Black Crowes style of “1965” and the classy epic “The Rise And Fall Of Major Kristi” dispel the notion that outtakes are throwaways for a reason.  While the mystery of why songs of the quality of the Psychedelic-tinged “The Next Big Nothing”, the anthemic Punk fired “C’mon Raiders” and the multi-layered harmonies of “Life In A Day” have been lying around in a record company vaults is anyone’s guess as these could quite easily have formed the basis of a top class album in its own right.

All in all The Roxie Box is a treasure trove of hard to find, deleted and rare gems from the pen of one of the finest Power Pop Rockers around.  Anyone wanting an early Christmas present would be strongly advised to head over to roxie77.bandcamp.com and pre-order now  in time for an early December release, as this fine limited edition box set won’t be around for ever.   An immediate download of all 70 songs are available as soon as you pre-order so there’s no need to wait to hear the fruits of Roxie’s work and you just can’t grumble at that.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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