Tho' I'd seen the name a couple times in the early '90s, I'd never heard The Axemen until this reissue of their Derry Legend LP landed on my desk. Turns out, the Axemen are my kinda freaks!! They're real silly... er, (ahem) challenging and experimental!!! Right, but what else should I expect from a buncha' loony kiwis getting goofy in the mid-'80s?! Their music is a solid period piss take on ROCK 'n' ROLL. Obviously, they had NOTHING to lose, but LOTS to say and they took NOT being serious VERY serious. Such was the time tho', during the mid/late '80s there was freedom as the underground, even with a few major label incursions, was a secure environment for underground bands to grow and play whatever they wanted, however they wanted. No one in the scene was interested in being a star or making money, so EVERYBODY who gave the slightest shit made noise. Anyways, Derry Legend is great, it's still in the context of ROCK, but it's filled with warbly janglers shaded like other great late '80s underground groups: the Cramps, Killdozer, Butthole Surfers, Meat Puppets, and even the Modern Lovers. Oh, and their "The Tragic Tale of The Rock N Roll Legend" even found them appropriating rap.
Derry Legend is a straight reissue of their 1989 LP (Flying Nun) and was reissued by impressive local upstart label, Luxury Products. Oh, and by the way, the band is still active, they even toured the US in 2009.