Red Axes review
08 10

Red Axes The Beach Goths Garzen

Red Axes have nailed that rare feat of owning a distinct sound without letting it get stale. Fluid and ever-shifting yet patently themselves, the Israeli duo’s music is nestled in the grubbier corners of post-punk, and it wanders the weirder peripheries of house and disco.

Since their debut LP, 2014’s Ballad of the Ice, Red Axes have settled into a groove of releasing great music with incessant productivity, encapsulating strands of balearic, disco, new wave and industrial. Their own label Garzen was launched in 2015 with the collaborative Ahuzat Bait record under the Red Axes name, while releases from several Israeli artists have helped develop the thrilling Tel Aviv scene. Now comes The Beach Goths, the second straight-up Red Axes LP and their first on Garzen.

The record wheels through an expansive collage of fuzzy rollers, retracing the different paths trodden since Ballad of the Ice. What’s In Your Head evokes peak Brian Jonestown Massacre narrating a spaghetti western set on the Mediterranean shore, while the industrial Piper Work, featuring longtime collaborator Abrão, shrieks with witchy menace.

Relentless psychedelia, dreamy desert-island alohas, chugging breakbeat and charges of exponential dread are all scattered across The Beach Goths’ 12 tracks, which are split into two sides. The latter half’s highlights include Shlomit, with its military-tinged doom rock, and Loosen – a countrified reggae jam that channels a classically detached Serge Gainsbourg.

By the time the tender closer Into Your Arms comes to an end, the sheer range Red Axes have explored is almost forgotten. But the confidence to take on everything contained here earmarks them as one of the most impressive bands working today. The Beach Goths might be their surest step, and it’s a joy to hear them use the full range of their powers.