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STONE AXE (s/t) LP/2 Disc Deluxe Edition

More people should listen to STONE AXE, in particular those who cannot get enough of classic 1970s rock. Indeed there is an approximately equal number of likeminded bands around, but only a few percents of them deliver their traditional rock with so much passion to detail as STONE AXE. Actually not very surprising because the lineup consists of two very experienced musicians. Firstly, there's multi-instrumentalist Tony Reed, known from Mos Generator. And then there is Dru Brinkerhoff who is also the singer in The Swinos. In 2006, they decided to join forces to start a new band named STONE AXE. That was a really good idea, because the merging of their talents led to this amazing debut album which has been previously released by Roadburn Records in 2009. One may naturally ask oneself, whether it is justified to make a reissue of an album that is barely two years old, but one should also consider that this album wasn't available in the USA.

Due to this reason, U.S.-based label Ripple Music has taken the opportunity to release this record in 2011. And not only that: They decided to add a large amount of bonus material to the album. This ranges from eight live tracks to a 74 minute DVD that is packed with two video clips, plenty of live footage and one interview. Additionally there are liner notes written by JJ Koczan (The Obelisk webzine) and there you have it, a re-release that is really worth your money. Even if you own the original CD or vinyl edition on Roadburn, it is tempting to add this luxurious 2 disc set to the collection. For my part, I still love the band's debut as on the first day and on the basis of that, my old reviewremains valid. So there's no need for a duplication and I will instead concentrate on the opulent bonus material. First, there are the previously mentioned eight live tracks on the CD which have been recorded in 2009 at several venues in the USA, including a performance at the Stoner Hands Of Doom Festival X. The sound quality is truly excellent and there are moments when I like them more than the studio versions. The reason is simple: the songs develop their full effect on stage. Additionally, the sound is rougher, heavier and more powerful than in the studio. For fans of STONE AXE, it's a pleasure to listen to that recordings.

It continues with the bonus DVD which offers more goodies. Here, too, quality is the watchword: don't expect any grainy pictures or shaky scenes. That doesn't mean that the footage has been filmed with dozens of film cameras, but nevertheless it's very entertaining to watch STONE AXE on stage. As in the case of the live songs, the band was filmed at different venues what makes it even more interesting. It is especially amusing to watch the "Beat Club" Sessions. As the name implies this looks as if it has been shot in 1971 at the Beat Club program. But also in other areas, STONE AXE puts up a pretty good show on each performance here. All in all, not only is this a great DVD, it also underscores the band's position as one of the best classic 1970's rock bands which currently exist. So if you dig this kind of music and have never heard before of STONE AXE, than this 2 disc set is a perfect start. It offers top-notch quality in all areas.