Yet another casualty of record company indifference, Lillian Axe fitted perfectly into the hair-metal milieu of the late 80s and should have achieved much greater success with this excellent brace of now reissued albums.
Originally formed in ’83 in New Orleans, the band created enough of a local buzz to attract Ratt manager Marshall Berle, who duly parachuted in Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby to produce their eponymous 1988 debut (7⁄10). Unsurprisingly, there’s more than a slightly rodent-like feel to the production, with chief songwriter guitarist Stevie Blaze showing great promise on Dream Of A Lifetime, Nobody Knows and Inside Out – great riffs and solid, memorably melodic choruses. Unfortunately their label MCA failed to promote the album and Berle was too busy with Ratt to care.
The following year’s Love + War (7⁄10), produced by Tony Platt (AC/DC, Def Leppard), found Blaze experimenting with an impressive array of tunes way beyond the typical pole-dancing anthems offered by the band’s peers. Grandiose, ambitious epics Ghost Of Winter, the title track and The World Stopped Turning suggested an intriguing future direction for the band, but the album suffered the same fate as the first.
Still a cult-level going concern today, Lillian Axe could have gone the distance.