Kidd Havok - Roll the Dice

Hailing from West Palm Beach, Florida, Kidd Havok are yet another example of talented musicians swept along unnoticed in the torrent of hair which was 1991. If they'd been spotted back then, this album 'Roll The Dice' could've created some ripples in the over-saturated hair metal industry.

Opening track 'Too Sadd' hits you with Nuno Bettencourt style riffage, before the Gary Cherone-esque vocals kick in. Are you sure this isn't an Extreme record? Kidd Havok are not a one-trick pony though. '1 Push' is pure singalong cock-rock, the kind that puts a cheesy grin on your chops if you like that kind of thing, or makes you cringe if you don't. 'Candy Store' and 'Treat Me' remind me of Tora Tora at times, with hints of sleaze, I can imagine vocalist Johnny B sauntering across the stage to these tunes. 'Cold Sweat' has a certain Phil Lewis swagger about it. 'Lady Luck', 'Entertainment 4 Tonight' and 'Night On Me' all allow guitarist Scot Marcs to showcase his 'flash metal' prowess on the fretboard. So much so, that a live solo is tagged on the end to close out the album. Highly proficient.

There is so much on this album that is comparable to many great performers that 'made it' back in the day. So why didn't Kidd Havok make it? Mabe they just didn't stand out from the crowd as everyone was doing this, although these guys probably deserved the nod ahead of lesser acts that did get signed.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable album, although the cynic in me wonders why SunCity Records have decided to go with it now. It undoubtedly provides us ageing hair metallers with something to stir fond memories of a bygone era, but I doubt Kidd Havok are gonna make much noise outside of their home crowd.

A killer live show should see this album flying off the merch stands though. 'Roll The Dice' is a solid album, well worth having, just 15 years too late.

by Stacey Dunk

Visit the Kidd Havok Myspace