“Axes 2 Axes” by Eddie Ojeda

Artist: Eddie Ojeda
Title: “Axes 2 Axes”
Label: Black Lotus Records
Release Date: 11/3/2005
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Rating: 5.5/10

Twisted Sister’s well-known axe man Eddie Ojeda has signed to Black Lotus Records and given us his very first solo recording. As a long time fan of his work with Twisted Sister I was interested in seeing what the end result would be on a solo effort that was for a change completely under his direction and control. Eddie performs a large amount of the lead vocals and his band is made up of Joe Franco (drums, who also played in Twisted Sister for an album and was a member of Dee Sniders Widowmaker) and Chris McCarvill on bass guitar. As I listened to the whole CD I felt myself wanting for something a little better and felt a tad disappointed in it more than I was put over the top. Eddie does not have a bad voice but I felt it would have been better to have someone else perform the vocals on the release who really could stand out and help him hold a great solo performer identity. He did have help from such vocal powerhouses as Ronnie James Dio, Dee Snider and Joe Lynn Turner but the Dio song seemed like Ron was just going through the motions on “Tonight”. Dee’s contribution is a very Twisted Sister-esque version of the Beatles classic Eleanor Rigby and I thought this was just terrible. Perhaps if it was featured on a Twisted album I could have looked at it differently but in this context it was awful. Joe Lynn Turner’s assistance on “Living Free” is not bad but I would have liked to hear the pipes that he possesses in an effort to kick the album up a little more. Eddie’s voice did manage to shine on “The Reason”. This power ballad worked for him since the vocals are in a lower register and did not push him to a point he could not attain. He also did pretty well on “Love Power” which is an overall throwback to a 70’s kind of groove. “Please Remember” was ok but that reminded me a lot of Sister in its main riffing.

Other than those couple of tracks I leaned more towards the instrumentals on the recording such as “Crosstown” which I felt cooked in a lot of parts and had a great overall feel from all the players. “Funky Monkey” also had a lot of groove to it and these songs seemed like fun jams that were worked on a little bit to become solid songs. The guitar work on the record is very good but Eddie could have showed off a little more I think especially since this was his first solo album. Joe Franco performs superbly as he was always a great drummer and I enjoyed his work since way back in the Good Rats days. McCarvill seems to be a solid bassist and backing the band in professional fashion. My rating is on the low end since I expected a little more from this but did not seem to find it. Die hard Twisted Sister fans that are holding interest in their solo work might love this or fans who long admired Eddie’s level of playing. However if you are a new Hard Rock fan this might be better sampled online first. It is simply not as heavy as today’s youth expects in an artist and that’s a shame since it still does have some moments. A digipak case surrounds the CD and it includes a 16 page color booklet with lyrics and photographs.

Track Listing:
1. Tonight
2. Axes 2 Axes
3. Please Remember
4. Eleanor Rigby
5. Evil Does (What Evil Knows)
6. Crosstown
7. Senorita Knows
8. Love Power
9. Funky Monkey
10. The Reason
11. Living Free

Official Website: www.EddieOjeda.com

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