The Northern Irish trio, Axis Of have been winning hearts throughout Europe since the release of their debut album, Finding St. Kilda in 2012. Their records espouse their deep love of music, meeting new people and travel: “The touring we do completely shapes our music and lyrics,” explains Ewen Friers (lead singer and bassist). And on their latest offering, The Mid Brae Inn this is taken to fascinating new emotional heights.
Recorded in the grip of an Irish winter, the daily trek to the recording studio proved to be a mission in itself: “There were deep snow storms and havoc on old coastal roads. One morning our van’s exhaust was ripped off by a wave.”
The band succumbing to the sea is an apt metaphor for The Mid Brae Inn. Across its eleven tracks, distorted bass swells and soars whilst guitars foam with effervescent hooks. One can almost taste the salt in the air on album highlights: “Wetsuit”, “Beachcombing” and “Quarrel Reef”.
Axis Of hail from the North Coast of the island, an area which in recent years, has bred some of the country’s most emotive and inspiring acts. Like others in their scene, Axis Of mix technology with technique and a unique brand of storytelling, deeply rooted in their surroundings: “16,000 years behind, war figures and cyber crimes. The bubbles under Yellowstone, the murderers that we bring home. The gas, the arms, the price, demands. Barry Horne and old showbands.’” – from “The Grey Man’s Path at Night”.
The sound that the bass-player-fronted three-piece has crafted is simultaneously melodic and thunderous – drawing comparison to the sound Biffy cultivated on their crossover Only Revolutions. “Over the last few years we’ve really pushed that idea of ‘poppy but heavy’. I think this record takes that idea and stretches it further at both ends” explains Niall. “I feel we’re now the band we were hinting at becoming, it just required a few hundred shows to get us to this point.”
A record built to be heard live, by men on a mission. Axis Of: coming soon, to a town near you (hopefully in a van with an intact exhaust).
The Mid Brae Inn will be released on the 23rd February 2015 via Smalltown America.
Confirmed tour dates – more to come!
31st December – Belfast, Empire (Album Launch Night)
25th March – Aberdeen, Tunnels
26th March – Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete’s
27th March – Sheffield, Corporation
28th March – Cardiff, Moon Club
29th March – Chester, Compass
30th March – Wolverhampton, Civic
31st March – Southampton, Joiners
1st April – Kingston, Fighting Cocks
15th April – Guildford, Boilerom
16th April – Nottingham Rock City