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Lillian Axe - 1988 Lillian Axe

ARTIST: Lillian Axe
ALBUM: Lillian Axe
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2007, Metal Mind Productions, MASS CD 1076 DG * 2017, Rock Candy Records, CANDY296


LINEUP: Ron Taylor - vocals * Stevie Blaze - guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Jon Ster - rhythm guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Rob Stratton - bass * Danny King - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dream Of A Lifetime * 02 Inside Out * 03 Vision In The Night * 04 Picture Perfect * 05 The More That You Get * 06 Misery Loves Company * 07 Nobody Knows * 08 Hard Luck * 09 Waiting In The Dark * 10 Laughing In Your Face


Previously we had written about New Orleans band Lillian Axe long after their most productive years, which were between 1988 and 1995. Having just written up their second album - 1989's 'Love + War', it would be incomplete of GDM to not go back to this bands origins and complete the picture. Lillian Axe came together from two bands. One led by singer Ron Taylor called Stiff based out of Houston TX, the other being the original version of Lillian Axe, led by guitarist Steve Blaze. Once fused, and gigging (plus supporting national acts in the Texas/Louisiana area), the Ratt management team took an interest, and were responsible for Lillian Axe securing a deal with MCA Records. The Ratt connection was further strengthened with Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby given the producers chair.

The Songs
When comparing this effort with 'Love + War', it definitely has a hair metal vibe coming through, comparable to a band like Keel or Black N Blue for instance. At this early stage of their recording career, Lillian Axe didn't have anything in their arsenal to make them stand out from the rest of the pack. Essentially, they sounded like an extension of the overblown Los Angeles hard rock scene, even though the band were halfway across the country. Decades later, I listen to this and flit across from track to track. It didn't really hold my attention, unlike 'Love + War' and the two efforts for Grand Slamm/IRS which were far superior recordings.

In Summary
The production from Robbin Crosby sounded decent enough, and interestingly, a couple of tracks featured keyboards in amongst the guitar bludgeon. It was a reasonable start for the Lillian crew, but the best was yet to come.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on May 26 2016 22:37:01
Stiff were from Houston, Texas where the original Lillian Axe were also a bit of a draw. Ron Taylor, Jon Ster and Rob Stratton were all formerly with Stiff. The Texan band had covered Girl's 'My Number' on their 'Straight Up' EP which Lillian Axe revisited on 'Love And War' ( the LA version featured Vanity).

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