AXE – Final Offering (2019)
To be released tomorrow, the properly titled “Final Offering“ is the final album from the legendary the American band AXE led by Bobby Barth. And it’s a killer. Somewhere between classic hard rock (“Old Scratch“) and bluesy rock n’ roll (“Born To Lose“) and played passionately throughout the record, the eleven songs immediately reach for your heart.
Founded in 1979, AXE remained active until the mid-80s, then entered into a long time hiatus which earned them the status of a cult band because it never achieved an outstanding commercial success, nor reached a great popular praise.
Always led by Bobby Barth, the band sporadically returned, and now they’re back for the final recording; “Final Offering”.
AXE’s musical work is based on a melodic and particular brand of Hard Rock / Classic Rock that was a success in the beginning of the ’80s. It’s melodious, tender and catchy, but bearing the right amount of weight and that classy sound from that era.
Clean vocals, twin guitar riffs and swirling solos are the motto of an AXE song, and this final album delivers.
There’s a sharp guitar work on the bluesy groove of “Born to Lose”, sweeten melodies permeated with a crude feeling shown on “Bad Romance” (very good vocals and harmonies), I hear an ’80s hard rock touch in “Fire & Stone”, while the sound is enriched with elegant keyboards on “Land of Our Fathers”.
“Old Scratch“ rocks harder with a tight rhythm section, then AXE delivers variation with the slightly
southern touch of “Money”, a lovely introspection with the ballad “Road to Damascus”, some acoustic into the mix for the midpaced “Years Slip Away”, and even some AORish melodies into the great choruses of “Who Will You Run To”.
AXE has done, as final offering, one of the best albums from their discography. It covers all the sub-genres the band explored all over their career, heterogeneous but clever, via a bunch of very well composed, recorded and produced songs.
AXE will be dearly missed… but this ultimate legacy is very, very enjoyable.
01 – Born to Lose
02 – Bad Romance
03 – Fire & Stone
04 – Land of Our Fathers
05 – Make a Dream (Last Forever)
06 – Money
07 – Old Scratch
08 – Road to Damascus
09 – Who Will You Run To
10 – Ty Ochen’ krasivaya
11 – Years Slip Away
Bobby Barth: Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Vocals, Keys
Bob Harris: Vocals, Keyboards
Gerald Berger: Bass
Scott Misner: Drums
Brad Banhagel: Guitars
Craig Gysler: Keyboards
Additional players & singers:
David Landes, Ray Patterson, Greg T. Walker, Billy Kitchens, Thana Harris, Nate Harris