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MUSIC

Axe

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Axe Music album cover
3.65 | 22 ratings | 3 reviews | 9% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Here to There
2. Ahinam (take 2)
3. Another Sunset, Another Dawn
4. The Child Dreams
5. A House is Not a Motel
6. Peace of Mind
7. Dark Vision
8. Strange Sights & Crimson Nights
9. Here to There (Live 1969)

Line-up / Musicians

- Vivienne / vocals
- A Barford / lead guitar
- R Hilliard / acoustic guitar
- M Nobbs / bass
- S Gordon / percussion

Releases information

Released on acetate in 1969
Reissued on CD in 2002
Also released under the name Live & Studio

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
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AXE Music ratings distribution


3.65
(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
9%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(59%)
59%
Good, but non-essential (32%)
32%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

AXE Music reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album hit like an axe to my head, though some characteristics of the record restrained me to give it five stars. Still many songs here fit to my personal musical tastes as best as anything in psychedelic music style can do. The short intro is distributed among the album creating flashbacks of the theme, and the whole song can be heard as a poorer sound quality live version in the end of the record. The voice of the singer is soft, pleasant and untalented in classical sense, though she hits to the key well and I Iike her voice really much. The singing is present only in more calmer moments of the songs, so the band gets much instrumental space to hit the harder acid rock gear on, and the do it very well. The compositions are quite simple, more like basic frames for free playing. Also the melodic themes are very pretty, but the band does not have very broad scope, and many tunes sound like variations of quite same idea. The sound could be described as a mixture of early Jefferson Airplane, and both live jammings of Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, spiced with some acid folk influences. And do not be tricked by potential association of the hit songs of the mentioned groups, Axe's music is in my opinion very experimental and certainly progressive, like the adventorous moments of the bands I compared are also. If you like good quality psychedelic stoned-out rock which expands to higher levels, leaving the fences of commercial rock standards behind, search this album and enjoy! Personal highlights are mantralike long "The Child Dreams", growing tension in very delightful way. With little more variation to the composed melodies and slighlty more better lyrical content, and maybe focusing even yet more to the hazy improvistaional playing which is present in maybe 75% of the music, this would be a real masterpiece. About the mannerism, "Strange Sights & Crimson Nights" sounds quite much like another arangement of great song "Another Sunset, Another Dawn". But even with these few lacks, this is anyhow very recommendable album to the fans of this kind of music..
Review by Sagichim
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another one of those rare late 60's hidden gems buried for about 25 years. Axe managed to distiguish themselves from other bands and rise from the underground scene to the point of recording an album and opening for Free, Wishbone Ash and The Who. Their heavy, acid psych style is a good example of the british psychedelic underground scene and is a product of its time although this style of music already emerged about three or four years earlier. There's a lot of confusion regarding the band and their recordings, even today there isn't much information about their story, except for an interview done with the band's guitar player which doesn't set things straight. So here's the deal, Axe were formed in 1968 in Northampton as Axe Music but was mostly known as just Axe. After some line up changes the band settled down with Vivienne Jones as lead vocalist and Tom Bradford as lead guitar player, that line up lasted until 1971 and was the one that recorded the LP. The band then changed their name to Crystalline with the advice of their manager that their name Axe Music sounded like music publishers. They entered the studio to record a demo tape in 1970 and not 1969 like is considered, they recorded 5 tracks in one afternoon, originally only about 12 copies were made of the acetate, without an album title. That recording was resurrected and released by UK label Kissing Spell in 1993. The label didn't just release the original demo recording, but unnecessarily edited parts of the songs to make the album sound trippier, and also to lengthen the album for a worthwhile release without the band's consent, I'll expand on that later. The CD contains 9 tracks with 41 minutes while the demo recording is only 26 minutes of music. Not only there are errors regarding the titles of the songs but the CD liner notes doesn't mention the songs were altered. Only in 2012 the spanish label Guerssen released the original demo true to the source under the name Crystalline, released both on CD and Vinyl.

The music of Axe is rooted in 60's psychedelia, the best comparison would be Jefferson Airplane also due to the resemblance of Axe's vocalist Vivienne Jones and Grace Slick, Jones's kind of folkish clear and pensive voice really shines throughout the album adding a lot to the trippy soundscapes by the band, another vocalist that comes to mind here is Annie Haslam although not in the same level of course. While the rhythm section is quite simple drummer Steve Gordon, bassist Mick Knnobs and rhythm acoustic guitar player Roger Hilliard are doing a good job. The real highlight except for the vocals is Bradford's playing and sound, fans will lick their fingers of his melting heavily fuzzed out guitar tone. The songwriting is ok not exactly adventurous but still good.

I'll go over the songs to highlight the differences between the CD and original recording. The album starts with Here To There which is the first 40 seconds from the song The Child Dreams originally named Here From There, so you're gonna encounter this part twice. Ahinam (take 2) is a two and half minutes instrumental part taken from the song A House is Not a Motel mixed with a phaser effect, it's a great soaring guitar solo with a good driving rhythm section, you'll have to listen to this part twice too while playing the CD. Another Sunset, Another Dawn is also the first song on the demo, it's a typical 60's psych tune with Vivienne's distictive vocals approach and some dirty guitars leads, nice overall. The mis-titled The Child Dreams (supposed to be Here From There) is the main piece and the only song coming near as being progressive,it's also the longest. It starts with some hazy vocals and reverse recorded sounds, very trippy, it continues quietly with Vivienne's vocals creating a psychedelic atmosphere and some acoustic noodling, not a fan of this part it is quite amateurish. Fortunately Bradford's guitar saves the day with another long trippy solo until the end. The Cd adds more than a minute to the end of the song of reverse sounds like in the beginning. A House is Not a Motel and Peace of Mind are more of the same acid psych tunes with some tasty electric guitar playing and great singing. Both songs appear in these versions in the demo. Dark Vision is another joke cutting two and half minutes this time from The Child Dreams and again adding phaser effect. Strange Sights & Crimson Nights in its original name Crimson Nights is the same as appears in the demo. This time a slower psychedelic tune leaning on Bradford's gritty guitar sounds. Here To There is another title error, it's a live version of The Child Dreams with a rough sound quality adding a flute to the mix

So overall this is a nice psych album, the progressive elements are very mild, I believe fans of the 60's underground psych scene will adore this. It doesn't elevate to great heights but it certainly has its qualities and don't forget its historic value. I think it's better to get the Crystalline CD which is exactly the demo released in 1970 rather than this butchered unnecessary edited version. 3 stars is enough.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I found their song "The Child Dreams" quite unexpectedly, and it really sent me to some kind of heavily psychedelic dream. The album couldn't disappoint me as well. The singer's voice is somehow typical female voice that you could imagine in prog folk scene of 70's (imagine The Pentangle, Mell ... (read more)

Report this review (#525539) | Posted by Ragana | Saturday, September 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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