Album review: Axe, Offerings (1982)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 9, 1982

By Steve Newton

Just the fact that it includes a rousing version of the Montrose classic “I Got the Fire” makes Offerings worth the price you pay for it. Chief Axeman Bobby Barth pulls out all the stops on that particular tune, and makes a gallant, finger-numbing attempt at taking the song to new heights of rock splendor. And though he doesn’t have Ronnie Montrose’s technical mastery, he’s certainly got the fire of wicked rock playing in his veins.

Also the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the band, Barth is undoubtedly the leader of Axe. His songs about love, lust and fantasy are well thought out and intelligent; they’re not idiotic or commercially contrived.

I like Axe because they’re a rock band pure and simple. They don’t go for overblown embellishments. Keyboard player Edgar Riley Jr. is a case in point. He doesn’t let his playing drown out or threaten the guitar-bass-drums combination that is the heart of the band. He adds to the overall sound, but does it with care.

Like the name would suggest, Axe is essentially a guitar band, and songs like “Steal Another Fantasy” and “Burn the City Down” don’t let you forget it.

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