On the evidence of this quality compilation it’s unclear as to why Axe weren’t hugely successful in their heyday. Their music may not be original, but the band’s brand of melodic rock has all the crunch and hooks associated with stadium acts such as Journey.
This set plucks a handful of songs from each of their studio albums and adds a couple of unreleased bonuses. The standard is uniformly high and the sound remains consistent – even on their two post-Millennium albums, V and The Crown – but the band was undeniably at its best in the early years, with a slew of what could have easily been hit singles.
Powerful, melodic songs such as Carry On and Holdin’ On may have been passé in the late 70s UK, but with the likes of Foreigner and Styx dominating the US airwaves, Axe’s modest stateside success is puzzling. Guitarist/ vocalist Bobby Barth’s sleevenotes tell a familiar tale of mishaps and poor management but, though Axe may never have fulfilled their commercial potential, the music speaks for itself.