Trixter has the right kind of light-metal sound for ’90s radio — songs like ”Line of Fire” and ”Bad Girl” have that slightly dangerous edge that took Bon Jovi and Van Halen to the top, while ”One in a Million” (the band’s own composition, not the controversial Guns N’ Roses song with the same name) has the gushy romanticism that makes teenage girls melt. But keep in mind that, unlike so many other light-metal bands, this New Jersey-based quartet isn’t yet cynical enough to be looking for a surefire formula — these boys are barely out of high school and were weaned on MTV. After forming in junior high, Trixter matured from an after-school project to a legitimate rock & roll club band. The slow but steady climb of their debut album, Trixter into the Top 40 (it was released in May of last year) is not unlike what happened to other hard-rock groups like Faith No More and Guns N’ Roses; all of them relied on a strong base of underground fans and on massive touring, until mainstream radio noticed them. The appeal in Trixter’s case is its fresh-faced approach. The band’s youthful sound on their album was polished by producer Bill Wray (he receives songwriting credits on nine of the 12 tracks). But the somewhat Southern-fried ”Give It to Me Good,” which guitarist Steve Brown wrote all by himself, is a catchy little tune that proves the band has talent on their own. Trixter may lack originality and experience of life, but their youthful exuberance should keep them afloat, at least until they grow up — when we’ll see if their music can grow up with them.B-

  • Music