“THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY” – A SHORT SERIES OF 2014 ALBUM REVIEWS THAT NEVER SAW THE LIGHT OF DAY, FOR SOME REASON.
OF ALL THE bands loosely entwined with the 1980s South Island sensibility of the Flying Nun label, The Axemen are the most ripe for rediscovery. Americans seem to know this, even if they’re neglected at home: several of their albums have been reissued by hip alternative US labels in the last few years, and now, their most accessible work, 1987’s Derry Legend, is back to demand some retrospective attention.
No black jerseys or cooler-than-thou attitude from these guys: The Axemen don’t just satirise, they’re defined by a shambolic artlessness that’s pure Dada, a playfulness that is in the spirit of punk, but stylistically lets them rove wherever their noses take them.
Incorporating the minutiae of Kiwiana before it was branded as such, the group’s “slacker” philosophy reaps rich rewards on this charming collection, brimming as it is with ideas. Oh, and even some hummable melodies. GARY STEEL
Sound = 3/5
Music = 4/5