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Lillian Axe - 'XI: The Days Before Tomorrow' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/73/d9/cd/2026_LillianAxeXITheDaysBeforeTomorrow_1331576753.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 12, 2012    
 
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A good record, which with just a little tweaking could have been a killer.

“This is the best Lillian Axe record that I have ever written”, so says lead guitarist and long time Lillian Axe stalwart Steve Blaze. A bold and I think brave thing for anyone to say, and one that may come back to bite him in the end. ‘XI: The Days Before Tomorrow’ is an album that can take its place amongst the many other great recordings put out by the band but the jury is still out on whether it as good as say ‘Love And War’, ‘Psychoschizophrenia’ or ‘Lillian Axe. Well as they say only time will tell.

Now Steve’s bold words aside, I did find myself enjoying ‘XI:TDBT’, and I’m sure that many Axe fans of old will also get a kick out of the band’s new album, and the classic signature sound that permeates every single track on the album. A small gripe about the music to start with however, which is why, oh why, are most of the tracks so similar in pace and tempo? They are good songs but a faster riff never hurt anyone and would have made this album not just great but fantastic. That said, ‘Death Come Tomorrow’ and ‘Gather Up The Snow’ start the CD off in fine style with new vocalist Brian Jones fitting into place wonderfully.

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The two tracks are just what every fan of the band has come to expect, which is well-constructed, thoughtful and emotion filled songs that beg to be replayed time and again. ‘The Great Divide’ is class from start to finish, a beautiful vocal melody from Mr. Jones melds with the guitar of Steve Blaze and together they make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. A couple of tracks then had me scratching my head after I’d heard them; firstly ‘Caged In’ which is a punky, modern sounding rock track that Blink 182 etc would get a kick out of playing, and then the Sweet infused glam rock of ‘Soul Disease’ both of which to me seemed out of place on the album and did nothing for me at all. 

So back to the more LA like songs; ‘Bow Your Head’ is a wonderful ballad with some beautiful acoustic guitarwork courtesy of Steve Blaze, it’s the kind of song that I think Lillian Axe excel at and it’s a standout moment on the album. And lastly we have ‘Lava On My Tongue’ and ‘My Apologies’ two tracks that round things of in fine Axe style; the arrangements on both songs are wonderfully conceived and Brian Jones really comes to the fore on both songs (great find this guy).

Lillian Axe have put out a good if flawed album with ‘XI:TDBT’, and I hope that Steve’s strong words don’t come back to haunt him and the band because this is a good record, which with just a little tweaking could have been a killer.

Ian Johnson

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