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New Junk Review Axis Of 'Finding St Kilda'

An album definitely worth checking out and a band you should actively go and see instead of waiting for a coincidental line-up to land in your lap.

The music industry can be a strange beast at times: one minute, you’re watching a completely unknown band in a dark corner of Huddersfield and the next, you’ve got their soon-to-be released album entitled 'Finding St Kilda' on your desk. Axis Of are a three piece from Portstewart, Northern Ireland and the first time I encountered them was on a dull winters night in the university town of Huddersfield, where a few friends decided to put on a gig. I was glad I went to see them that night and I’m even happier now that their album has landed on my desk some year and a half, maybe more, later.

Straight off, I was instantly surprised at the poppy riffs that the band had adopted in the time I spent away from them. From what I could recall, the band were a hardcore/punk outfit and whilst the opener, "Cardiel", didn’t displease me, it certainly took me back for a moment. The riffs were still drenched in a familiar distortion but they managed to build on them and improve, adding an early Biffy Clyro-esqueelement with their odd setting and jarring rhythm. Initially, the vocals also seemed to be toned down from the harsher punk scream and were replaced with a lighter, more friendly, Frank Turner type delivery.
 
These changes are not unwelcome though — they are all things that certainly show their face during the album but don’t necessarily dominate it. The punk roots appear in later tracks such as "Aung", with its short track time and "Edge Of Canebrake" with its aggressive vocal interplay. The vocals are something that work particularly well in fact, with all three members of the band contributing. The call and response in some tracks, alongside the range of vocal delivery styles really helps to keep things fresh and exciting throughout the albums entirety. The single "Lifehammer", also accompanied by a video, only serves to heighten the bands vibrancy. Out of context, it may seem like the band have changed somewhat but listen to the album as a whole and it completely makes sense. It’s like an encore is the albums finish to only further please you, whilst leaving you wanting more.
 
In the beginning, 'Finding St Kilda' lures you in with it’s melodic, distorted pop. It then proceeds to subject you to some of the best pop infused punk around and, to be honest, by the end of it you’ll be pleased you were so easily led. 

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