“The Roxx Regime Demos” by Stryper

Artist: Stryper
Title: “The Roxx Regime Demos”
Label: Fifty Three Five Records
Release Date: 7/7/2007
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

In the Beginning, well in 1983 to be more exact, four musicians with a similar goal joined forces and called themselves “Roxx Regime”. They hit the club circuit on the Hollywood strip as it was rich with musical activity and while the band would perform at the very same clubs that Poison and Ratt were playing, their music would have a crucial difference from that of their peers. Roxx Regime had decided to sing hard-edged songs of praise to the Most High which was definitely risky and nowhere near tunes about wild parties and girls that the other Hair Metal acts were delivering. Yet so strong were their Christian beliefs and faith to make this thing work that they pressed on. The gamble paid off and the band was able to build up a strong following that was made up of both religious and non secular fans. The group would eventually change their name to Stryper and embark on a very promising career but that is not what we are here to discuss. Rewinding to the very roots of the band this CD takes us back to how it all started out and presents to their fans of today the sounds that they had originally. I like the idea of the band releasing their demos to the public years later as this offers a great little collectible and stops the sale of bootlegged material of the same kind as well. The material here is young, rough in sound and at times might seem quirky but the listener should be aware that no remixing or remastering was done at all. What you are hearing now is how the demos sounded at the time of their recording and as you listen you can hear that the band had some solid potential to make a break for the big time. The lineup of Roxx Regime would be the same through many years of Stryper releases with Michael Sweet (vocals, guitar), Robert Sweet (drums), Oz Fox (guitar, vocals), and Tim Gaines (bass, vocals).

Most of the tracks presented here would end up on the bands debut recording “The Yellow & Black Attack” which was released on Enigma Records. I found it interesting to compare the original demos to the finalized albums production and I think many listeners can agree that the band stepped up their game when the deal was signed. Don’t get me wrong and think that these demos sound bad, as they actually rock quite well and are a fun listen as a whole. My personal favorite from the first album was “Loud ‘N Clear” so it was cool to hear it in demo form and the same applies for “You Know What To Do”. We get a drum solo intro from Robert Sweet that shows he is not your simple 4/4 time player and there is even the inclusion of “To Hell With The Devil’s” signature hit “Honestly”. I had no idea that this track predated their name change as opposed to being written for their third album. This CD might be more for the diehard fan of the band but to me it also has some value for those who enjoy the historical aspect of some bands. It’s pretty cool to see how the sound changes when still considered hopefuls to how it all comes together on a major label release. For a bunch of demos there is still a sufficient amount of heaviness presented and the insert features a number of legacy photographs and promotional shots from the time period. Not just for the curious so check it out.

Track Listing:
1. From Wrong To Right
2. My Love I’ll Always Show
3. Loud N’ Clear
4. You Know What To Do
5. You Won’t Be Lonely
6. Co’mon Rock
7. Tank
8. Honestly

Official Website: www.stryper.com

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