After the successful 7" release in 2008 on Roadburn Records, Tony Reed wasn't lazy and although he's been busy touring and recording with his main band Mos Generator (sadly, they broke-up), there was enough time to record the first full-length album for his band STONE AXE. Once again, he's not only playing guitar but also drums and bass, while exceptional vocalist Dru Brinkerhoff refines the music with his amazing talent. Maybe some of you fear the worst, because this album has been recorded only by two guys, but don't worry. Here we have two extremely gifted musicians not to mention the fact that this album sounds as if it has been record by a "real" band. By the way, STONE AXE recruited drummer Mykey Haslip and bassist Mike Dupont to promote their debut live in 2009. A really good descision, because this kind of music is made for a live performance. Well, enough background informations - it's time to talk about this record, once again released by Roadburn Records in 2009. Here we have a very varied album, strongly inspired from the late 60's and 70's and no two songs sound alike.
There's a solid rhythm section behind the tasteful and emotion filled leads and perfectly chosen power chords of Tony Reed and the soulful vocals of Dru Brinkerhoff are controlled yet explosive. Tony Reed's playing is tasteful, never too showy, and demonstrates an affinity and flair for blues. His tone, vibrato, and soloing are all undeniably first-rate. He certainly has a signature sound, and if you've listen to the albums of Mos Generator then you'll surely agree. The album starts out very strong with 'Riders of the Night', a powerful heavy blues track that is based on a funky rhythm accompanied by crunchy riffs where Dru Brinkerhoff shows his considerable vocal talent. 'My Darkest Days' sounds very different, and I'm pleasantly surprised by additional string arrangements, while 'Taking Me Home' sounds like an unreleased Thin Lizzy cut and is a good chance for Dru Brinkerhoff to stretch his singing abilities. It's no surprise that a few of the songs like 'There'd Be Days' will remind the listener to Mos Generator, but that's nothing bad in my world. All told, this is definitely an album that will be on my best-of-2009 list and doesn't fail to impress. I suggest you pick up this album and check it out yourself cause its fantastic.