An Axe -Â She is Dust (Self Release)
Bristol’s An Axe have just put out their first self-released full-length album. Chris Hearn takes a listen and likes what he hears.
Dark, moody, stylish, sexy 50âs revival music is what Bristolâs An Axe makes. Rather than bashing you over the head with a heavy rock-a-billy explosion (although at times they can let go pretty decently), these guys work more with the subtleties of the genre. They make fine music that would fit in well in a Quentin Tarantino or David Lynch film, or one of those flicks where the prom queen and the football player die in a horrible car accident in their 57 Chevy convertible on a dark winding roadâ¦mysteriously!
Vocals are killer; deep, dark, sultry and sufficiently creepy at times. Instrumentally, there is great reverbed 50s style surf guitar that Duane Eddy or Dick Dale would totally dig. Itâs not a minimalist album by any means, but the instruments donât overwhelm. The vocals and guitar are keys to creating the mood. I like this style of music. It reminds me of bands like Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and Huevos Rancheros who I used to love to see live and still listen to quite a bit. So, this style definitely sits well with me.
Simply put, these guys are just cool as ice. They have a wicked infectious sound. This is their first full length release and it has a mature, polished, tight sound. They have been together for 4 years (although they lost their piano player 2010) so they have a few years behind them, and a couple of EPs as well that you can get on their bandcamp page.
If I were to pick a favourite, I would have to say that donât try to make me pick. Thatâs so unfair. Letâs put it this way, I havenât found a song on here that I donât like. They are all good. This is one of those albums that works as a whole. ‘Son of Swan’ is fantastically dark and enthralling. ‘The Emerald Locust’ is one of the more rocked up songs and I love the guitar work on this, and especially the noodling around with sounds towards the end. Album closer ‘A Blooding at the Lodge’ sounds pretty much exactly like that title would imply: murderously dark.
Apparently, âAn Axeâs live shows are building a reputation for being thunderous and raw, yet always suavely decorated and not short of sense of decorum and seedy style.â Ooooooo. Sounds deliciously good! I just wish I could find video evidence of it somewhere online that I can check out and share with you, but no such luck. Oh well, at least I can give you the opportunity to hear them!
So, ya, there you have it. An Axe is good. If you like your music moody, dark and rooted in the 50’s, then you have come to the right band! I like these guys and hope to hear much more from them in the future. They bring yesterdayâs sounds into the presentâ¦.and beyond!
Words by Chris Hearn. More writing on Louder Than War by Chris can be found here.