Axe

Nemesis

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

An electrifying stew of hard rock, biker rock, Southern rock, and keyboard rock (we're talking 1983 after all), Nemesis may easily be Axe's defining statement: The band wants nothing more than airwave domination and to come into your town to help you party down. Ripped opener "Heat in the Street" bears a similar title to "Rock 'N' Roll Party in the Streets," Axe's biggest-ever hit from their previous offering, Offering (the CD reissue erroneously christens the song "Heat in the Night" but all that matters is Nemesis made it to disc), yet despite the obvious leitmotif, nothing can touch this red-hot, hard luck, fugitive tale which takes every right turn while crashing and burning in a league with the immortal Motörhead; Axe is always geared for the radio, though, throwing in keys and vocoder for a walloping slab of two-ton American rock. "Eagle Flies Alone" soars skyward as endearingly as fellow knuckle-head Sammy Hagar's "Eagles Fly," only Axe kicks it out four years earlier. Axe also beats the Crüe to bat with the lascivious "Girls Girls Girls" (backing vocals by the Mountain Jack Sluggettes). "Foolin' Your Mama Again" sneaks around a melodic outlaw chorus, and the hard-working Edgar Winter boogie, "Keep Playing That Rock 'n' Roll" is still another great, innocuous burner. The boys prove to be utterly fearless and amiable, forcing keys on guitars while swerving through a blissful riot of clichéd lyrics. "Masquerade" almost ends the LP on a slow ride (replete with a cell-phone ring?) before the drop-dead pounder "Midnight" fires things up again. Contrary to the intimidating cover art, Nemesis remains naughty but slick, heavy but friendly; nothing more than well-done, blue collar fun.

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