LOOK OUT FOR THE NIGHT
Released 1985 (IRD)
01. Road Runnin’
02. Spread The Action
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)
Randy Amos – lead vocals
Darren Lazzari – lead/rhythm guitar and vocals
Michael Weldon – rhythm guitar
Michael Brett – bass guitar
G.T. Mitchell – drums and percussion
Jim Pitulski – additional background vocals
Mastered by Darren Lazzari.
When it came to straight forward working man’s hard rock (or heavy metal as it used to be called) few bands could top Riot‘s 1981 album Fire Down Under – arguably one of the best albums/bands that hardly anyone heard. But the even lesser known Axtion gave it a shot and occasionally came close to the magic of Riot.
Some people are going to say that this sounds dated, and of course it does. But no more dated then Fire Down Under or UFO‘s classic material, and at times Axtion rivals both. “Fury Of The Tempest” for example finds the band at their peak, complete with wailing guitars and gruff screaming vocals. “Precious Rock” is another scorcher, and it was while listening to this song that I began to hear similarities to Iron Maiden‘s early work with Paul Di’Anno – even though this is more no frills hard rock then actual NWOBHM fare. Axtion nails it again on “Your Numbers Up” that includes some memorable guitar work and a vocal sound that Waysted‘s Fin later implemented.
The problem for Axtion is two-fold. First, they seemed unable to sustain the fury of their best tracks. “Spread The Axtion” and “Hold Me Tight” come across as unadventurous 70s guitar rock while they appear to try too hard on the ‘epic’ “Look Out For The Night”. Secondly, music like this never made much of an impact anyway, although I could never figure out why that was. So many rock fans have really missed out here.
To me there is something honest in albums like Look Out For The Night. MTV had yet to rear its ugly head and bands needed to master their craft, a cute ass or sexy sneer just wasn’t enough. Plus music was still trying to be an artform, not a corporation. When Axtion was on top of their game they were incredible, and this release has lots of those moments. If these guys were able to have written an entire albums worth of smoking tracks maybe they would have gone down in history with Riot as one of the most influential and criminally underrated bands in history.
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