Released a couple of years ago Stone Axe II is given another outing as a special deluxe addition on Ripple Music and is a vibrant treat for not only fans of the band Stone Axe but for rock music lovers in general. If you have not yet felt the majestic power and heart of Stone Axe and their sounds then this release of their second album complete with a second CD of fifteen tracks only previously available either upon their vinyl releases, as part of compilations, or are just rare tracks previously buried deep within their vault, is an essential for your ears. The package bulges with blues and classic rock fuelled rock n roll, the band dipping into the past and soul of the genres with flavours from the likes of Free, Deep Purple, Bad Company, The Faces, Thin Lizzy and Led Zeppelin the catalyst for their own absorbing sounds.
The band was formed in 2007 by multi-instrumentalist T. Dallas Reed in Bremerton, Washington who upon leaving previous band Mos Generator and its different direction to what the band was set up upon, worked swiftly to set up Stone Axe to continue his hearts calling, Seventies rock preservation. Alongside Reed in the studio there is vocalist Dru Brinkerhoff and live the pair is aided by bassist Mike DuPont and drummer Mykey Haslip. Since forming the band has become an important part of the current rock scene for an ever rising fan base with their impressive live shows and their two albums, as well as splits and EPs which show so sigh of slowing, constantly grabbing eager acclaim, attention and enthusiasm. The nostalgic music influences strike a firm partnership with the band invention to offer a fresh and powerful mix that has a versatility and variety to satisfy persistently.
The first CD as mentioned is the complete ten track second album of the band, a release that with an enthused attitude, heart, and energy combines the flavours of blues rock, stoner, and seventies rock into a stirring and fresh homage come reinvention of classic rock without losing its passion and soul. With songs like the hit Chasing Dragons and the excellent Thin Lizzy spiced Those Were The Golden Years where Brinkerhoff sounds like the reincarnation of Phil Lynott through to the Free inspired Ain’t Gonna Miss It and the stunning Procul Harem tinged Turned To Stone, Stone Axe II is an essential release for all old classic rock favouring fans.
Very often these types of packages offer very little for the passionate fan that has much of the output of a band already, the release riding on the desire of the fan to simply want everything a band releases for their collection. With this special edition those who already have the second album are more than provided for with the second CD and the wealth of tracks within, though if a truly ardent fan you may still have everything already of course. The disc includes a cover of the Cream song SWLABR, an early version of Black Widow, as well as a thrilling live cut of Taking Me Home to name just a trio of the excellent tracks within. With the majority of the cuts now unavailable the CD alone makes the release a virtually new one for most and a very rewarding package with more than just something for every rock fan.
Stone Axe has taken classic rock forward without losing the essence and purpose they and the genre strive by. From the excellently crafted sounds and lyrics through to the perfect and impassioned delivery the band and this release sparks up all the senses and emotions easily and impressively. Many bands are trying to create music with a soul and breath seeded from the early fires of rock, Stone Axe just do it better than most.