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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Axtion - 1985 Look Out For The Night
Axtion - 1985 Look Out For The Night

ARTIST: Axtion
ALBUM: Look Out For The Night
LABEL: IRD Records
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2006, Retrospect Records, RR-173


LINEUP: Randy Amos - vocals * Michael Welton - guitars * Darren Lazzari - guitars * Michael Brett - bass * G.T. Mitchell - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Road Runnin' * 02 Spread The Axtion * 03 Hold Me Tight * 04 Fury Of The Tempest * 05 Precious Rock * 06 Look Out For The Night * 07 Your Numbers Up * 08 Shoot For The Stars * 09 Stand Up (For What You Believe In)

Unfortunately I cannot tell you anything regarding the history of Axtion, apart from the fact they originated from Ohio. Little information exists about this long forgotten hard rock outfit, which is hardly surprising given that nearly 18 years has past since the release of 'Look Out For The Night'. Those intervening years have led to obscurity for the band, along with so many others. Given the derivative nature of the music and the constant repetition of more successful bands, this is not surprising. There are some rousing moments however and the album cover, which shows five men (the band?) cornering some wench in an alley is unmistakably 80's class.

The Songs
There is enough happening within this album to write an essay. Firstly, the production is bargain basement. It is remarkably dated in execution, leading the album to sound as if it was recorded in 1978 instead of 1985. It's almost inconceivable that Michael Bolton's 'Everybody's Crazy' is a product of the same year, considering its professional sheen. The drum sound reminds me of a tin pot being struck while someone holds a tape recorder next to it. Then we have the music. For the most part Axtion stick to the basic hard rock formula created by Montrose in 1973, with piledriving riffs heard a million times. There's some choice moments, 'Road Runnin', 'Precious Rock', 'Your Numbers Up' and 'Shoot For The Stars' contain an abundance of foot stomping riffs, while maintaining high energy speeds. But because it's 1985 Axtion throw in token Iron Maiden metal numbers like 'Fury Of The Tempest' to stay relevant one assumes. The title cut is an embarrassing attempt at Euro metal, with some of the most blatant Scorpions like riffs ever heard. The borrowing of identifiable styles is easily heard, 'Spread The Axtion' is all UFO, while every major US act is represented at odd moments. Typically there's a non-stop supply of shredding solo's, as Welton and Lazzari try to convince everyone in ear-shot that they are the next Eddie Van Halen. Lyrically it's all rock 'n' roll rebellion and fighting for rock as it were, with insightful questions like 'you listen to the music and you want to know why' and statements such as 'my mothers on my back and I'm up against the rack.' When Axtion get it right ('Shoot For The Stars') the results are profound. When they blow it ('Look Out For The Night') it's a rock and roll disgrace. Never has a song plodded so much, with an endless riff and little chord progression.

In Summary
Axtion must have believed that they had to pander to current trends to be considered. It's with old-fashioned riff based rock where they excel, and even the bad moments should be heard. These guys are out there somewhere and I'm sure they have a story to tell.

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