Label: Ripple Music 2011
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Stone Axe II - the 2012 reissue deluxe edition is accompanied by a second CD packed with vinyl only and various assorted bits from the Stone Axe back catalogue, including a cover of a tune from The Cream (SWLABR), as well as a version of "Black Widow" from the very first incarnation of the band. This album was originally released in March 2010 on the band's own Music Abuse Records and Ripple Music has picked it up to give it a similar deluxe treatment as that which the first, self-titled album got a while back (see review elsewhere on this site).
As soon as the opening two tracks, "Old Soul" and "We Know It's Still Rock N Roll", started, you're thrown back to the seventies hardrock of the blues variety. The latter done 'ala Acca Dacca and Rose Tattoo. There is a certain style and sound that most of the bands from this period have on their recordings and Stone Axe are certainly trying to capture it in every possible way. The line-up consisting of the husky vocalist, Dru Brinkerhoff, guitarist Tony Reed, bass player Mike Dupoint and drummer Mykey Haslip, are paying homage to all the classic bands by working in a similar concept and they're no doubt a fine live act on stage.
Yep, the band has taken bits and pieces from the rougher end of the blues rock with AC/DC, Bad Company, Free, Led Zeppelin as their ultimate housegods and heroes. They tinkle around the monster riffs of the past without hitting the correct note to really put them among the top notch "new classic" bands on the scene. I still find their compositions too vivid and they're basically 'band jumping' from Lizzy to Zepplin and AC/DC from one track to another (like any other 'after-ski' act in my humble opinion). Decent rock and slightly better than their debut.