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29.7.11

Stone Axe - 'Stone Axe : Delux Edition' (ripple music) 4/5

This is a weird one. The band looks like they come crawling from the early 70's acid rock scene, sound like they are left overs from Woodstock and even the album cover yells retro archive material at you. Yet Washington (US) based stoner rock outfit Stone Axe (a duo in the studio and a quartet live) have only been around since 2007 and are part of that interesting 'retro rock' movement that is doing interesting things stateside along with the likes of Crash Street Kids, The Muggs, Antique Scream et al.

This is their second eponymous full length release and its a a very catchy little opus. Rooted firmly in the classic sounds of the likes of Foghat, Blue Cheer, Led Zep and the like it certainly sets out to keep alive the flame of old style stoner rock and achieves the goal with ease. Tracks like The Skylah Ray and Black Widow are as trippy as hell and feature some damn fine extended instrumental passages that make you want to skin up something illegal and listen to in a darkened room at very loud volumes.

On this deluxe edition of the album there are 10 great studio tracks that stand up to repeated darkened room listening, but its on the eight live bonus tracks the band really come into their own. The live tracks have more power, more spirit more of a wow factor and I'll admit that I'm spinning the live tracks more than I'm playing the studio ones, the live version of Diamonds and Fools being particularity note worthy with it's AC/DC on hash stoner boogie beat and Bon Scott-esque vocalisations.

In short a damn fine album. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

For Fans Of - Blue Cheer, The Muggs, Spirit, Grand Funk Railroad etc

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