Love Axe released a great new album, Phenomenomenons, this week on Suburban Sprawl.
The project is a long in the works collaboration between Chris Hatfield, who was in one of my favorite largely ignored Michigan bands of the past ten years, Those Transatlantics and drummer Heath Johnson.
If Those Transatlantics was indie pop with touches of rock, then Love Axe is indie rock with touches of pop. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some straight up pop gems (see ‘Dystopian Future’) but there’s a strong guitar voice across the album and many of the arrangements move towards the dramatic and anthemic sound of ‘90’s era Radiohead and it’s many acolytes. ‘Right Away,’ for example may be the guitar driven song I’ve been waiting Doves to make since the Last Broadcast. The album never fully succumbs to those anglophile influences however, as there’s a warmth to the songs and a groove that’s for me is distinctly American (‘Moderation’ has a tasteful Americana arrangement that builds on itself with every pass in a way that’s actually tasty).
The biggest downside, is that this album took them so long to finish, they predictably no longer live in Michigan1, so I doubt we’ll get a chance to hear any of it live any time soon.
Click through and download the whole album from bandcamp in one of those name your own price scenarios popularized by that one band I already mentioned, Radiohead that one time.
1Existential editor’s note, are those of us still in Michigan really living at all? I don’t mean this in some kind bullshit Sixth Sense, Inception way but rather in a deep thoughts, obnoxious roommate who’s in the second week of his intro to western philosophy kind of way. Discuss amongst yer’selves.