Axhandle

Axehandle

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Unlike some, less serious bands out there, Axehandle didn't choose their name because it sounded cool -- they chose it because they wanted to write songs about axe-wielding serial killers and douse themselves, Carrie-like, in buckets of pig's blood! Hey, it may be gruesome work but at least they make no bones about it (pun intended) and throw in the additional kicker (pun also intended, read on) of featuring not one, but two able percussionists providing a solid rhythmic bedrock both tribal and interesting. Not that this is immediately evident in the opening stoner metal jam "Face Down," which easily qualifies as the album's nearest attempt at subtlety -- an illusion will last less than one pass as the rest of the album unveils itself. Simply put, when they aren't instrumentals like the brief and sweetly mellow "Self Help" or the 12-minute fright-fest "Fine Food" (which comes overlaid with unintelligibly distorted basso voices talking something about cannibalism), these offerings are all imaginary first-person accounts straight from the mouths of murdering sociopaths. Case in point: the lazy, almost gentle roll of "All Redheads Are Crazy" describes a protagonist who arrives at a romantic dinner only to discover he's to be the main course; the lysergic Southern rock melodies of "The Damage That Can Be Done at the Ocean" likewise belie the imminent violence (both sonic and lyrical) brought on by an admission of betrayal to one's lover; and the bludgeoning metal chords and primal screams of "Pulp" occasionally suspend their swings only to extend the victim's torment. That's right: this is heavy, scary stuff with questionable moral values (tough!), but there's no denying that Axehandle's morbid fascination provides the thematic kick in the pants necessary to elevate them from mere Alabama Thunder Pussy side project to another level of validation.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
7:35
2
7:05
3
6:13
4
2:01
5
8:28
6
12:59
blue highlight denotes track pick