Oh, wow, I never thought any other surviving member of NWoBHM legend AXIS (one 7“ on Neat Records, one song on a compilation, one anthology vinyl on HIGH ROLLER) would have been furtherly involved in the hardrock scene. But hey, it feels good to be wrong in this case.
AXIS other guitar wiz Davy Little has started this band LIES OF SMILES a while ago, when he met his ol` chap Mick Tucker (formerly AXIS and WHITE SPIRIT, later on and currently in TANK) at the funeral for ol` WHITE SPIRIT drummer Graeme Crallan in 2008, where Mick convinced him to carry on with playing. And so he did. Mick put Davy in touch with his nephew Pat O`Neill who became the second guitarist and now LIES OF SMILES could start with a great crew and two of the hottest axemen in hardrock.
Hardrock? Well, yes, that`s the deal with this, their second album “Cross & claw”. I suppose that the debut album will have a similar style, I would love to hear that. Hardrock, okay, classic hardrock in the late 70s and early to mid 80s vein quite a few bands have made popular, UFO, WHITESNAKE, GILLAN, we know and respect them all for what they did and some of them for what they still do.
30 years on there is WHITESNAKE again going very strong with heavy, yet earthy and bluesy rock music that has these special songs absolutely traditional in style but catchy as hell with shredding lead guitars and heartfilled crooning. The same style can be found on “Cross & claw”, with Mr. David “Davy” Little being like a hellhound on the trail of Mr. David Coverdale, equal in style and, what is most important equal and sometimes even better in quality.
I imagine the opening track here, “Fallen”, the first song after the intro, so to speak, in a live version on the “Live in the heart of the city” album by WHITESNAKE, nobody would notice it was a different band and everybody would certainly rave about such a killing up tempo rawker. And then we might get more into a mid tempo hardrock field but each song contains smoking` hot lead axe runs and melodies that might sound familiar to you but unveil their magick in the depth.
A lovely, lovely piece of classic hardrock and I still wonder why nobody really got to know about them earlier. Since many ol` heroes of the NWoBHM are going strong again, let`s wish the same for Davy Little and his crew, may fame and fortune come their way or may at least the fanatics of traditional earthy hardrock get their kicks out of “Cross & claw”. Great one
Sir Lord Doom