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May 23, 2024

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Sweet Roxx
7" Single (Shifty Records)

By: Jeb

This is hysterical! I love it! Canadian neo-thrashers BOULDER have formed this spoof NWOBHM band called SWEET ROXX and have released a 7' record that purports to be a "re-release" of their 1984 single on "Noise of the North" Records. It comes complete with linear notes by Geoff Barton of Kerrang! and Sounds infamy. Musically they have done an admirable job of recreating an early 80s band, although truth be told none of the underground and unheralded NWOBHM bands I was raised on ever played this fast, this heavy, or had production this thick and meaty. In fact, this sounds more like METALLICA playing DIAMOND HEAD, than actual DIAMOND HEAD, if you know what I mean... Where BOULDER (I mean SWEET ROXX) really hits the nail on the head is with the lyrics. The constant self-referential nature of the lyrics, the gratuitous efforts to sing about hell, and the sheer silliness is dead on. This 7" has a hard balance to maintain. It needs to keep the joke alive but it also needs to be listenable to modern ears. On that count, SWEET ROXX is perfect. Interestingly enough, the band that kept coming to mind as I listened to this wasn't a NWOBHM but an 80s band from San Diego called SNAKEBYTE, whose only release was a self-financed 12' EP. SNAKEBYTE created an interesting amalgamation of NWOBHM influences and L.A. metal influences (with a touch of NY anthem metal thrown in for good measure). At their very heaviest moments, SNAKEBYTE sounded somewhat reminiscent of SWEET ROXX. I even dug out my old SNAKEBYTE record to verify this and after listening to it (twice) I have to say I almost agree with myself.
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