The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer – Calgary, The Royal Legion – 31 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Dean Glyn Morris   
Monday, 10 April 2017 03:30

THATAMThe Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer have been on a steady development since kicking off their careers with 2007’s ‘The Blues Can Kill’. The duo aren't just blues through and through, having steadily, and successfully I might add, ventured into more funk/soul and other sounds with every subsequent release.

 

They can still drop a raw sounding blues track into the mix but now touring their new album ‘Apocalipstick’, it's clear they have much bigger ears here. On their latest record, which the set covered mostly, the expanded band includes drums, keyboards and many contributing singers, and evokes everything from the blue-eyed pub rock of such greats as Graham Parker And The Rumour to the grizzled garage rock of the song 'Forever Fool', which is right in line with The Black Keys.

 

The set run the range of styles and there doesn’t seem to be anywhere the two songwriters can't feel at home. Purists might resent the fat bass loops in 'Get Ready' or the potentially tedious handclaps and gated drums in the infectious 'Marianne (20,000 Acres of Moonlight)', but their goal isn't to please everyone. If anything, the strength of their performance lies in its embrace of a more ambitious production, no longer is it just the two up on stage, evident with soulful back up vocals for the chorus in 'Running' or the relentless groove in 'Promises, Promises' and they expertly and wonderfully deviate from their original songs.

 

Everyone involved sounds like they’re going for broke and nobody stands out more than the two head players. It's easy to miss out on an act like this. After all there are so many great and bad acts who're bringing blues back but with big enough balls to experiment and enough respect to hold on to that restraint that is key to the genre, these guys are absolutely nailing it.

 

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