What’s The Rockbrat Listening To Today? ROXUS – Nightstreet (1991)

R-1127520-1439560433-2587.jpegQuite possibly the most contrived record to ever be released in Oz rock history. Rank with artificiality, this lot couldn’t pull the wool over my eyes when they first burst on to the scene back in the late 80’s with their try-hard antics and wanna-be rock star shenanigans – and all these years later this smells as fetid as it did back then. Except worse. The songs have not aged well. Forgettable, bland, AOR, keyboard heavy, middle of the road babble that paradoxically, sounds sonically superb. Yet a first rate production, with Mark Opitz twiddling the knobs, still couldn’t save it. Put lipstick on a pig… it’s still a pig. Songs with zero-originality that are a direct carbon copy of all the worst of the LA Sunset Strip poseurs.  They even had a tune called “Bad Boys” (need loving too). Cringe. Puke.

In spite of having paid no dues, yet with Molly in their corner, Roxus were gifted with opening slot supports to international visitors Bon Jovi, Warrant and Poison in 89 and 90. Yet Australian audiences could smell a rat, and didn’t take to them – instead warming to the legitimate international sounds of Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Guns n Roses – denying this country of its own late 80’s hair metal home grown hard rock heroes.  If Roxus was the best Australia could come up with – that speaks volumes.

Roxus had a nauseatingly insipid power ballad called ‘Where Are You Now”, which Molly must have thought was destined to go to the top of the charts – both here and in North America – yet you can’t sell ice to eskimos – they already had enough Mr Bigs, Bad Englishes, Damn Yankees, Bon Jovis etc in the charts and didn’t need any D grade deceivers from the antipodes.

As the old saying goes, one swallow does not a summer make – and by 1993, with the Seattle bands having restored a sense of much needed order to things by killing off the bloated hair metal genre, bands like Roxus were rowing a boat with one oar.

The long hair, volume, cowboy boots and bandanas couldn’t hide the fact that Roxus were spurious with a capital S, and every bit as manufactured as New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys or any in the Stock Aitken Waterman camp. They should be gratified they had their Warhol moment –as brief as it was. Backstreet Boys, Nightstreet Boys. Yep.

When granted with such big name touring supports, it’s easy to see how the boys thought they were hot patoots –with the front man Juno Roxas in particular having a way over inflated opinion of himself and his singing abilities. So much so that Juno had another roll of the dice in 94 with the release of his ‘long awaited’ solo album called ‘Far From Here’, which came and went like a fat kid chasing an ice cream truck – and sunk faster than the Lusitania. Roxus did make an appearance at the Mushroom Records 25th anniversary concert in 1998 and in 2006, Juno Roxas performed with the Pat Cash All Star Band at the Australian Tennis Open. And here I was thinking his music career had faltered after the demise of Roxus. Where Are You Now ? Far From Here? Words never so prophetic.  Next!