Album review by KevW
A lack of pretension is always a good quality for a band to have. Particularly one whose aim is to create the kind of rock 'n' roll they love, not necessarily try and reinvent the wheel. This is exactly what Bristol trio An Axe are doing. Sure, bands are bound to have a certain amount of their own identity due to the personalities involved and their own style of writing or playing; but the goal for An Axe appears to be a straightforward one, and let's not confuse straightforward for easy. On debut album 'She Is Dust', the guys want to make some rock music, they want it to be punky and edgy and slightly unorthodox, they take influence from garage bands from throughout history along with more modern artists.
The plan isn't to knock your socks off with originality, it's to give you some good old-fashioned dirty rock 'n' roll, and that's exactly what they do. That doesn't imply a lack of effort or ambition, far from it. On this album they put down some decent tunes and explore various offshoots of the genre with a good degree of success. on 'Ink' they do a fine job of tackling psychobilly; 'Coax The Drowners' tries its hand at some primal garage-rock; 'Big Cat' follows in many DIY rock traditions and this is a compliment rather than a derision; 'O For Oratory' almost brings in a doo-wop aspect and how about 'She's To Busy Breaking My Heart To Notice You' for a song title?
There are blacker tones that crop up from time to time; 'Son Of Swan' could be lifted from a horror film soundtrack, and what exactly is the mysterious 'Approacher'? The songs on 'She Is Dust' are, as a rule, concise and to the point, which is of course how an album like this should be. Maybe now they've found their feet properly and left their initial imprint on the world it will be time to explore sonic grounds a little further afield. An Axe clearly have an interest in rock's rich history and may be capable of turning their hands to more experimental sounds. After all, it worked wonders for The Horrors.
An Axe's website
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