The Ax 

Fossils of Our Kind

Considering the blistering power and thump of The Ax's music, it's amazing that vocalist and guitarist Chris Pierce can deliver his lyrics with the practiced calm of your cool uncle who rides motorbikes and dates teenaged girls. It has been noted by local experts that when a drummer is too busy being awesome he can take the rock right out of rock and roll—think Tool. But in the case of The Ax, the eptitude of drummer Adam Jelsing is frightfully grooving and face-slamming, not to mention intriguing. The dissonant tones and stock metal riff on "The Flood" is made new again by the percussive choices Jelsing makes. "Bent the Wires" begins nastily enough but as the nattering guitar figure repeats, the song digs up some serious dirt and starts to hammer like a classic Tad track. With NW music legend Jack Endino (Melvins, Nirvana) doing the knob-twisting in the studio, The Ax sounds positively heavy and punchy. You almost don't notice the lack of a bass player. Almost.

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This is an album that ends much too soon. At eight tracks, some of which clock in at around one minute, this 10" feels like a full-on Lolita-style tease.

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