To my surprise, I have managed to get through the pile of CDs on my desk and get them down to single digits. This week, like most, we have a mix of the ole' and the new. From powermetal to folky British prog recorded in a Scottish church. I will miss having to listen to Lillian Axe as I move on to the next batch of reviews.
This is Fish with a bunch of mates and his daughter doing the acoustic (mostly) bit in a Scottish church near his home-town. How can this be bad? Fish used this as a return to roots gig playing through his extensive back catalogue. The recording is quite good considering the venue and the players on hand are first rate. I cannot fault this two CD set at all. If you are a Fish fan, it's pretty much essential.
If you like British prog and like it stripped down, then you will love this CD. This is great for those evening nights next to the fire with a glass of wine. Fish has really come back to life of late; this is a great release and his latest (to be reviewed later this year) is rather good as well.
Lillian Axe: s/t and Love & War
Two re-masters from the guys at Metal Mind in Poland. Unlike most of their releases, these two discs fall under the melodic rock category rather than uber-metal. Lillian Axe is one of those bands that had the chops, the talent, and the songs but lacked timing in extremis. These guys should have been huge, even if you just heard their Robbin Crosby-produced RATT tinged debut. It's a damn good album, but one that pales in comparison to the follow-up Love & War. Lillian Axe truly spread their wings on the second release and provide a sophomore album worthy of the best of the late 80s.
They combine tongue-in-cheek melodic rock with a more mature look at hard rock. Every song on L&W is catchy in the stick-in-your-head variety. Whether we are talking about the awesome title track or such classics as "Show a Little Love". Steve Blaze truly had the talent needed, he just lacked the timing. And it's not as if they stopped producing good stuff with the second album either. Check out Phantasmagoria for proof there was more quality left in the well. If you are a melodic hard rock fan then you should have both of these CDs. If you are a fan who has this lot on vinyl or worse cassette then you need these re-mastered version post-haste. L&W is truly a forgotten gem of an album.