Unearthed Review: Axe Axlins. Three stars

johnboy 29 April 2011
Axe Aklins

Unearthed Review is returning after a bit of a hiatus. Rather than choosing at random and being subjected to every lonely teen who thinks he’s the next Mike Skinner we’re going to work through the acts that have earned themselves a drum logo.

Next off the rank is former Raiders player Axe Aklins.

Axe has this to say about himself:

Forged in the fires of professional athleticism, former Canberra Raider (notorious head hunter and judiciary favorite) and West Belconnen number 1 son, Axe Aklins, burst onto the Australian music scene in 2003, rapidly linking up with renowned Australian hip hop pioneers Koolism and the KOA massive.

Ever-present Koolism hype-man Aklins featured on the track ‘Control’ from Koolism’s 2004 ARIA award winning release ‘Random Thoughts’ (Invada Records), followed by the cantankerous duet ‘Raw Steak’ from Koolism’s 2006 critically acclaimed follow-up ‘New Old Ground’ (Invada Records). Axe also featured on the 2006 Australian hip hop compilation ‘Airheads 2’ (Parallax View) with the solo effort ‘Desperate Man’, followed by a guest appearance on ACT compatriots D’opus and Roshambo’s EP ‘The Question’.

A seasoned performer with over 50 live performances under his belt- ranging from tightly packed clubs to large outdoor festivals such as the nationally telecast 2005 Australia Day Celebrations, Homebake 05 and Arrive Alive, Axe is as at home on stage as he once was, tearing up opposition in the NRL and the English Super League. Australian audiences will recognize Koolism-utility Axe from support appearances alongside local and international acts such as the Hilltop Hoods, Downsyde, Mixmaster Mike and Lyrics Born.

Axe’s moniker arose from the mispronunciation of his family name Atkins, by Raiders team-mate and good friend Leslie Vainikolo, combined with the title Axe, earned by a history of fierce conduct on the playing field. Axe Aklins carries the same emotion and conviction into the recording booth and onto the live stage to this day.

I have a theory that more people want to perform Australian hip hop than want to listen to it. But you could say that of pretty much all original music, there are over 720 ACT acts listed on Unearthed now.

(I wrote this sentence for my last review, but it remains firmly the case so there you go again.)

The first song “protest song” seems to be a combat fantasy with a fig leaf of “war is not the answer” dubbed in.

The loops are smooth and he’s proficient, but for the material a bit more real anger would help at least give the cliches conviction.

In many ways the second song “wood” is the better of the two, it’s got catchier beats and is more interesting musically and in its story.

Maybe he’s a tiger live on stage, but this all just seems a little flat.

Three stars.

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