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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Axe

Band: Axe
Album: s/t
Year: 1979
Style: Metal-Prog
Similar Bands: Journey, Motley Crew, Scorpions, Ratt
"One Word" Review: Proggy-Metal-Rock
Based Out Of: Florida (origin) /Texas (now)
Label: Curb Records, MCA
Front Cover & Side2
Back Cover & Side 1

Axe - 1979
1. Life's Just An Illusion (sample)- 3.36
2. Hang On - 3.10
3. Sympathize - 3.25
4. How Come I Love You - 3.24
5. Forever (sample)- 3.31 /
6. Back On the Streets (sample)- 3.44
7. Doin' the Best That I Can - 4.25
8. You're Out Of Line - 3.47
9. Battles - 6.13

Album Rating: (1-10)
6

Members & Other Bands:
Michael Osborne
Teddy Mueller (Babyface)
Michael Turpin (Babyface)
Bobby Barth (Babyface, Red Rock Rooster, Blackfoot, Caught In The Act)
Edgar Riley Jr. (Babyface)
Michael Lloyd-Producer: Mike Curb Productions

Unknown-ness: Never heard of these guys. But with the menacing Axe on the cover of the album Axe, by the band Axe, I got the picture of what was inside: driving, cutting metal. And lots of it. But then there is the mystical back of the band surrounding a glowing obelisk. That seemed more prog based. Then returning to the front, the drawing of the axe breaking glass, well that could definitely fit into a prog category.


Album Review:
Good bands can package their sound as imagery and Axe completed this goal with flying colors. They are a hard, loud guitar band, with tendencies to let the keyboards drive a song. With a vocal style similar to Journey, they are not quite as heavy (at least not yet...maybe they get heavier) as the bands they toured with in their future: Iron Maiden, Motley Crew, Judas Priest. The voices here are a harmonic blend, rather than the anticipated shouting or whiny screeching of a metal band. They can all sing.
The first track is more of a prog song than metal. And with the keyboard taking the lead, it gives correct imagery as to how the rest of the album will play out. The second song starts off with a jaunty piano, and again the Steve Perry vocal style takes over with a driving melody, that delivers us to a harmonic chorus 'Hang On, Hang On Forever'. Even at their hardest, their supporting instrumentation acts like water repelling the grimy grease of pure metal from its tracks.
"Forever" is the quintessential power ballad. At the end of the song, the whiny guitar takes the place of full lyrical verses, and sings a more heart broken melody than any vocal could attempt. The record ends with their longest track, a 6+minute quiet prog ballad, following a similar formula to "Forever."
This album has a very dated feel to it. And in this case, that is a good thing. It is from an era of a bands young life where they are not sure which direction they want to go in. With knowing that they become a metal based band, this album is like a Heavy Metal lad, before trying to break the hold of its prog mother. It is a nice blend, and really comes across as one unique sound.

Stand Out Track
Hang On

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