TOXIC HEART is a Slovenian Glam/Hard Rock Metal band, formed in 2007. Back in 2009 I got the request to review their debut album, “Ride Your Life”, which you can read here. This release was a very pleasant and entertaining encounter. Of course the band then played as many gigs as possible and it seems TOXIC HEART has since then become the main band of guitarist Mike Pipenbaher, who’s also in 7TH ANGEL. No news from that band, however. Anyway, now, since late January 2012, a new release is available for the masses: the mini-album “Trailerpark Show”.
As you can imagine, the music is a bit different. Very much Country-influenced, one might say. But the guys kept things fun and entertaining. Seven new tracks were written for this. It begins with “Back Home”. This instantly sets the tone with its Country leads. You may mistake it for a power ballad, but this song just rocks a bit too much for that. It’s one of those feel-good songs, typical also to bring back memories, to reminisce. The vocals are clean and fit in well. Full melodic power and volume is presented in the chorus. Overall, the end result is catchy, very accessible.
This brings us to “Bad Boy” and the harmonica, plus again the typical Country guitar work, including sliding. The intro alone promises a song that will rock your socks off and it does, albeit at midtempo. Somehow the music sounds a bit more Poppy, but it’s fun. The guitar solo is a must and also finishing touch. “Down South” begins with singing, harmonized. Then the full music sets in, again quite radio-friendly, even ballad-ish. The chorus contrasts with the calm verses. Due to the melodies, the song reminded me of DEEP BLUE SOMETHING’s “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” hit. All in all, a very decent song, though I found the others a bit stronger, more attractive.
And then comes the brass section. “Dr Groove” does what the title says: it’s got groove! The intro alone already. And then, when the song does take off… a pure delight! It sounds quite Jazzy too, perfect for drummers like Simon Phillips or Gavin Harrison, for example. This track is pretty straight-forward, but it rocks! Eh, grooves! “Mixed Emotions” is another song full of southern influences, beginning with the guitar. Building before the take-off, which indeed delivers the goods. Nice to hear the drums with cross stick and toms in the verses. Again full musical power is set in the chorus, which has the feel of a power ballad. But it’s very good, make no mistake.
“Texas Shine”, another example of Southern Rock. The brass section is again present, the Jazzy influence as well. This song has more vibe, a bigger feel-good touch. Axl also sings with a lower voice, while the singing is harmonized in the chorus, which sounds very nice. The brass instrumentation resides there as well. This is one song I really like! The “Trailerpark Show” ends with the title track, beginning with the guitar and then taking off with firm and direct Southern Rock. The singing occurs in layers again, while the music has a nice groove and rhythm. To make it also more real, the banjo was used.
TOXIC HEART’s debut album was a very good one, very much worth having. This new mini-album, “Trailerpark Show”, is not Metal, more Southern/Country Rock. The use of lap steel, the banjo, pedal steel, harmonica and brass (trumpet, posaune) in conjunction with the regular Rock instrumentation make this a very attractive, uplifting and must-have release. As this is a self-release, you’ll need to contact the band for your copy. What’s next? A European tour?
- Back Home
- Bad Boy
- Down South
- Dr Groove
- Mixed Emotions
- Texas Shine
- Trailerpark Show
Axl – vocals
Mike – guitar
NJ Rider – bass
GG – drums