Australian band Roxus debuted with Nightstreet in 1992, right about the time Nirvana and their flannel-clad ilk were nailing down hair metal’s coffin. If they had showed up just 2-3 years earlier they probably would have been at least minor stars. They formed in 1987 in the southeastern suburb of Springvale, and gained a considerable live following. In 1989, they played support to international bands Poison and Bon Jovi on their Australian tours. The band came to attention of promoter Ian (Molly) Meldrum, who signed them to the Melodian Records label.

Roxus subsequently supported Warrant and in 1990, they released a live EP. Nightstreet combines lightweight melodic keyboards with guitar-driven hard rock and elements of glam metal with high cheese factor.

You know the kind – big hooks, catchy melodies, smooth vocals and lots of love songs. Roxus played this kind of music very well, and Nightstreet is a great example of what makes this kind of music so much fun. The sound is brimming with pulsing melodic rock where the keyboards are layered to perfection and but also a perfect foil for Stanic’s incredible guitarwork. Juno’s vocals are great too, but what really sets this album apart is the great songwriting and the amazing sound thanks to producer extrordinaire Mark Opitz (INXS, Cold Chisel, Angels, Noiseworks).

The songs are mostly lavender coated rockers that meld with power balladeering and the overall effect hasn’t dated so much. Songs like the killer “Rock N’ Roll Nights”, the more heavier song “Bad Boys” where the guitar crunch is on overload and the title track deliver just what you’d expect. Full bodied but polite rockin’ with plenty of support coming from keyboards and the smooth voice of Juno up front. Especially the song “Bad Boys” is the only one on which Roxus comes anywhere close to really rocking out with truly hilarious lines. The wonderful mid-tempo ballad “Where Are You Now?” is one of the album’s highlight, which received considerable radio airplay and packed at #13 on the ARIA singles chart and #11 on the AMR charts.

Great keys which blend beautifully with harmony vocals and a catchy chorus that will get stuck in your head for a long time and get nostalgic about your youth… followed by the perfect “Midnight Love” and one of the most outstanding hammer-track you’ll hear on this record where the keyboards get another chance to shine thanks to the great work of Shanaham while the great riffs and the catchy powerful chorus will blow you away. My personal anthem came with “Stand Back” and in my opinion far one of the best song of the album. Just listen the amazing key intro and the explosiveness that follows and you will see what I mean. A strong chorus with guitar and keyboard interplay will satisfy you and show you how talented band Roxus were, something that can be seen in the sweeping ballad “This Time” but also and to the other equally impressive ballad “Jimi G”.

It’s a shame Nightstreet is so hard to track down, because it’s an album just about any fan of the 80s and early 90s melodic rock sound will want to check out. Sure it’s dated now, but in the best possible way. If bands like Fair Warning and Frontline get you in the mood, then Roxus will certainly get you primed and ready. A hammer album may not be missing from any melodic rock/hard rock collection.

01. Rock N’ Roll Nights
02. My Way
03. Bad Boys
04. Midnight Love
05. Where Are You Now?
06. Nightstreet
07. This Time
08. First Break of the Heart
09. Stand Back
10. Jimi G

Dragan Stanic – guitars
Darren Danielson – drums
John Stones Nixon – bass
Juno Roxas lead – vocals
Andy Shanahan – keyboards

Password: Plotn08


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Roxus – Nightstreet 1992

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