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Album Review: Axis - 'Show Your Greed'

14 September 2015 | 2:42 pm | Owen Morawitz
Originally Appeared In

A young band delivering on their potential and dropping a pissed off and volatile debut record.

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Building off the back of well received 7-inch releases and a successful split via Harm Reduction Records with New York post-punks Self Defense Family, it only takes the first five seconds of the track ‘Burn (Eradicate)’, originally featured on the aforementioned split and now reworked and retitled on their début full-length record ‘Show Your Greed’, for Florida hardcore unit Axis to immediately let you know what the fuck is up. Vocalist Rafael Morales’ impassioned scream of “Buuuuuuuurrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnnn!” plays out over a thunderous roll from drummer Tommy Cantwell, expertly building tension and momentum, before the rest of the band unleashes their furious, metallic riffage directly into your skull.

While it might not be the first track on the record, it does provide a decent summary of the moods and textures on display with ‘Show Your Greed’, and is a shining example of a young, promising band at the top of their game. That game, more specifically, is thick metallic hardcore in the tradition of notable 90’s hardcore acts like Disembodied, Turmoil, Deadguy and All Else Failed, and features imposing walls of riffs courtesy of axemen Patrick Chumley and Dylan Downey, frenetic time changes and tight grooves from bassist Tyler Forsythe. Axis stick to what they know and do best on ‘Show Your Greed’, which is a relatively short record at only 10 tracks in length, and does not waste a single second of them.

Discouraged’ sports interesting riff layers, punchy drums and the eerie closing riff-come-beatdown combination that lifts your head off the ground, before promptly kicking it back into the dirt. The breakdown in ‘Sincerity’ finds the group at their heaviest, delivering punch after punch, over a gritty and course vocal refrain. Album highlight ‘Badgelicker’ is a short track but easily the strongest on the record, with Axis channelling their inner Converge before tearing the song apart from the inside via another barrage of dissonant riffs. Lyrically, this track has Axis at their most poignant and hard hitting, with a scathing indictment of crooked cops and guest vocals from Ben Jordan, front man for Atlanta’s Antpile, creeping up towards the end shouting, “All goes unnoticed! All goes unpunished!” before the song comes to a swift and fulfilling end.

In short, ‘Show Your Greed’ is a monster record and a huge achievement for a début. It’s really fucking good – we can’t stress that enough. If you’re a fan of anything from recent hardcore acts like Foundation, Incendiary, Discourse, Code Orange or even label mates Old Wounds, then what Axis bring to the table on ‘Show Your Greed’ should get you all fired up. Do whatever it takes to get a hold of this record. Then listen to it. Then do it again. And repeat this process over and over until your calling in life suddenly appears to be setting the hopes and dreams of strangers on fire.

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1. Graze The Fire

2. Discouraged

3. Transgression

4. Show Your Greed

5. Burn (Eradicate)

6. Sincerity

7. Crippled Man

8. Badgelicker

9. With Silence

10. With Grace