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Album Review: Glory by Axes

After releasing their mini album in 2013, math rock geniuses Axes are back with their full length debut Glory. Scheduled for release on the 3rd November, it’s a blistering assault of power math rock with dabblings of thrash, funk, and R’n’B grooves nicely packaged within a succulent punk energy.

Made up of equal parts Danish, Scottish, Iranian and English there’s a wealth of influences within the sound of Axes with the end product sounding somewhere between Alpha Male Tea Party and Adebisi Shank. You get the full spectrum of sounds whether it is the mathy and hook heavy ‘Chung Fai Pang’ the folky interlude of ‘Your Two’ or the emo style intro coupled with the storming riffs of ‘My Three’. Every track is fantastic; you’ll find Glory being the essential math rock release of 2014.

As is the case with all decent instrumental music you’ll find Glory being highly emotive. The intricate guitars tug at your heartstrings while the uninhibited riffs pummel your ears leaving you begging for more. The overwhelming feeling coming out of Glory is one of joy and a band not afraid to take free rein on their sound. You never quite know what to expect next. The diversity within each track make each listen sound completely fresh and invigorating.

The start stop riffs of opener ‘The One’ sounds like a frantic Adebisi Shank at their best. The guitar part around the 1 minute 40 mark is ridiculously complex and compelling, while the riffing that sees the track out is infectious and crafted to perfection. That sets the tone for the rest of the album – each track is absorbing and ridiculously contagious. The level of detail contained makes it impossible to listen to the once and makes you question if you actually just understood what you just heard. Title track ‘Glory’ feels like it contains at least four different songs.

The dynamics within ‘Monster’ are wonderful. You couldn’t ask for better production. The sound separation within louder moments make you feel like the sounds is coming from everywhere while you’re enveloped in a wall of guitars. There’s some prime funk moments on ‘Real Talk’, the grooves are big and succulent lulling you into a false sense of calm in between the ferocious riffs and mathy guitar work. ‘Junior’ is a short blast of fantastic hooks that you can’t help but put on repeat. The frantic opening of ‘Pan Armricain’ coupled with the delicate and complex guitar work before the blistering riffs are thrown into the mix make it not only one of the strongest tracks on Glory but perhaps one of the most gripping tracks you’ll hear this year.

Glory is ridiculously good. It’s a complex beast that will entertain and leave you wanting more. Axes are a band not confined by genre or limitations, a free flowing and assured album – what you may first hear as chaos will soon come through as excellent structure with not a care for normal convention. Not only is one of the best math rock albums of the year, but a very strong contender for overall album of year. Essential listening.

AD Rating 9/10.

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