Lillian Axe – XI ‘The Days Before Tomorrow’

 


THE BAND:
Brian C. Jones - Lead vocal
Steve Blaze - Lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboards
Sam Poitevent - Rhythm guitar, backing vocals, keyboards
Eric Morris – Bass
Ken Koudelka – Drums


TRACK FRAGMENTS:

1.) “Babylon” – This intro opens with a whole-note keyboard effect.  Steve begins playing the first of many different rhythm guitar arrangements, which this track consisted of.  Underneath the third measure of the guitar arrangement Ken opens the drum line with a couple of cymbal crashes and a small snare fill.  After a couple of measure there is a rhythm guitar change.  I believe I counted this rhythm change lasted for eight measures.  On the next measure Steve changes the rhythm arrangement again for the minor lead guitar solo.  The minor lead guitar connected the intro with the musical verse.  The second lyric line was double-tracked.  There is a drum fill connecting the verse with the pre-chorus.  There is a snare/bass drum fill connecting the pre-chorus with the chorus.  Either when recording the backing vocals they delayed Steve’s a split second to give it an echo or they added an echo to Brian’s mic.  Either way this gave the vocals of the chorus a very cool sound.  There is a short build-up minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second pre-verse.  For the second verse Brian double-tracked his lead vocal lines.  Over the top of the rhythm guitar and underneath the lyrics there is a minor lead guitar solo.  The outro f the song consisted of the same keyboard effect that opened the intro.
2.) “Death Comes Tomorrow” – The first measure of this intro consisted of for eighth-notes on rhythm guitar over the top of Ken playing eighth-notes on his tom-toms.  There are tom-tom fills connecting the eighth-notes.  For the second measure Ken switches to a standard hi-hat rhythm underneath Steve playing a minor lead guitar solo.  Steve plays a whole-note for the last note of the minor solo.  As the whole-note fades-out Sam’s keyboard arrangement fades-in.  The key Steve wrote the song in gave Brian’s vocals a very melancholy sound.  Ken kicks-in the drum rhythm for the musical verse.  For measures 1, 3, 5 & 7 Ken used eighth-notes on the hi-hat.  Then for the even measures 2, 4, 6 & 8 Ken used a sixteenth-note hi-hat rhythm.  Ken changed the drum line for the musical pre-chorus.  There is an intro repeat for the musical chorus.   Brian double-tracked several lyric lines of the second verse.  After the second chorus there is a breakdown section that consisted of eight eighth-notes.  This leads to a very short lead guitar solo.  The outro consisted of a lead vocal line over the top of a piano arrangement.
3.) “Gather Up The Snow” – The intro to this track opens with a rhythm riff coming out of the left speaker along with the same riff coming out of the right.  There is a slight difference between the two.  For the riff coming out right speaker Steve added a few extra notes.  Steve used the same two guitar riffs for the main body of the intro. Steve also used the same rhythm riff for the musical verse.  For the chorus the drum line was done with a tom-tom pattern.  After the second chorus Steve changes the rhythm giving it a more intense sound.  After the second chorus Ken incorporated a very small double bass drum rhythm,  After two measures Steve drastically slows the music down.  It sounded like Steve used a wah-wah effect for the solo. 
4.) “The Great Divide” –The intro to this track opens with a keyboard effect.  Over the top of the keyboard Steve begins to play an acoustic guitar arrangement.  I believe the acoustic rhythm is two measures tops.  In the thirty plus years were I have listened to and played music have not ran across anyone that can play an acoustic guitar as well as Steve can! Steve kicks the song in with an electric guitar arrangement.  For the main electric arrangement it sounded like Steve, Sam & ken are playing the same rhythm.  After the lead guitar solo Ken switches to a double bass drum pattern.  The bass line right before the lead guitar solo was amazing!
5. Take The Bullet” – This track opens with the studio effect of machine gun fire.  For the first two measures of the musical intro Ken’s drum rhythm is the same as Steve’s guitar arrangement.  The beginning of the third measure opened with a snare drum fill. This snare fill lead to a minor Steve Blaze lead guitar solo.  The minor lead guitar solo connected the musical into to the musical verse.  The band used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the intro.  The musical change along with the lyrical arrangement had a huge hook attached to it.  After the second chorus there was an arrangement change that leads to the lead guitar solo.  Towards the end of the solo the band speeds up the bpm.
6. Bow Your Head” – Steve is an amazing ballad writer and this track is one of the many that proves this!
7. Caged In” – The intro Steve wrote for this track had a very simple feel to it.  There is a small snare fill underneath Steve’s guitar riff of the second measure.  There is a vocal scream connecting intro with the musical verse.  The guys used the same guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one they used for the intro.  Several lyric lines of the musical pre-verse where double-track.  There was a minor solo connecting the pre-verse with the verse.  The second lyric line of the chorus was done with a vocal effect.  There is a minor lead guitar solo connecting the second and third chorus.  Steve double-tracked the major lead guitar solo. 
8. Soul Disease” – This intro opens with Ken playing a snare fill.  For the musical intro Steve & Sam play two separate rhythm guitar arrangements.  There is a musical rest that consisted of a tom-tom fill that connects the intro with the musical verse.  Brian double-tracked his lead vocal lines of the verse.  Not that this is the first time it has ever been done however, you just don’t hear it very often.  There is a minor lead guitar solo after the second chorus.  The solo runs underneath the next chorus and leads to the major lead guitar solo.  Blaze shreds the major lead guitar solo.  After the major solo there was a breakdown section.  The lead guitar solo runs underneath the lyric lines of the rest of the song.
9. Lava On My Tongue”  - This track opens with a rhythm guitar riff coming out of just the right speaker.  After one measure the intro kicks-in .  The band used the same rhythm arrangement for the musical verse.  The rhythm arrangement does not change until the pre-chorus.  The chorus completely blew me away!!!  There is a minor solo after the second chorus connecting it to the third verse.  The major solo is after the third verse.  The major solo is over the top of the outro.  At times it sounded like Brain was scatting the same notes Steve is playing on guitar.
10. My Apologies” – This is just an amazing ballad!!!!
       bonus tracks:
11.) (silence) –A silent track
12.) (Jude 1) – A baby talking
13.) (Jude 2) – A baby talking
14..) (Jude 3) – A baby talking
15.) (Jude 4) – A baby talking
16.) “You Belong To Me” – Bow to Steve Blaze the ballad master!!!!


     ‘XI The Day Before Tomorrow’ is the ninth release from Louisiana Hall of Fame members Lillian Axe. Looking back in ’88 I’ll bet not many record execs or media ever thought they would be around this long or let alone members of a hall of fame! Unlike most of the bands from the eighties one thing will always stand true Steve will not sacrifice sound for record sells.
     Not only has Steve out done his songwriting and guitar playing however, this very well may be the best line-up the band has had.  From beginning to end there is absolutely not a bad song on the release!  Though the CD was released in just the second month of February it is already in the top running to be album of the year!!!!