With a penchant for bittersweet epics and explosive codas, Love Axe is a study in boiling down just what makes indie rock work. Over the course of twelve tracks songwriter Chris Hatfield and drummer Heath Johnson deftly sweep between pillars of plaintive pop choruses, heartbroken pianos, lush studio touches, driving guitar and sparse acoustic touches. The album is nothing if not heartbreaking, with Hatfield's lyrics favoring the underside of love, the onset of age and the occasional impending dystopian future. But the mastery that lies in Phenomenomenons is how such typically disheartening subject matter can sound so refreshingly sweet in Hatfield's hands. The album's only drawback can be that with so much ground to cover it occasionally sounds like pages torn out of a collection of short stories; which may be understandable considering it was written over the course of two years and passed infinitely between the two members' computers in order to finish. However, as with the best collections of stories, this one brings a larger picture into focus as it unfolds. Word has that Hatfield's already deep in the works of album number two with a fuller version of the band and a permanent home in Oakland. We'll definitely be excited to see what comes out from these guys next.
[MP3] Love Axe - Never
[MP3] Love Axe - Let's All Drink Gasoline
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