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THE AX (Our Queen Of Dirt) LP/CD

Because of the cover artwork, I already expected some sort of psychedelic rock from Portland's two-piece THE AX, but that was a false assumption. Actually they have more in common with bands like Unwound and Tad, and add further influences from Sonic Youth to their sound. The result is sometimes pretty interesting, but here are two things that bother me. First of all, there are the vocals which annoy me. I wish they were more expressive, but this clear, nasal tone has always bored me to death. Moreover, this album contains too much songs, fourteen in total. Less than half would have been enough, because some of the songs are very similar. There are some good news, however. Although the band consists of only one guitarist and a drummer, they are a surprisingly heavy.

The tube amplifier creates a nice roaring wall of sound and makes sure that you don't miss a bass. And of course there are a few really good songs such as 'Sharp Teeth' or 'Who Wears The Crown', to name but two. They still make a lot of noise, but in my view everything fits together much better in the abovementioned songs. Sometimes there are also subliminal references to the 60's, and I can imagine that I would find something like the second Stooges album in the record collection of one of the guys. THE AX pummel the eardrums with the seething rage of 'Bargain In Hell' and show once again that they can form a tight rhythm section. Altogether, 'Our Queen Od Dirt' is no bad record, regarding the fact that it's their first album. Please, find a new vocalist, and I can imagine to be more enthusiastic.