Eddie Ojeda - Axes 2 Axes (Black Lotus Records) 2005
Having been a Twisted Sister fan for many, many years, I looked forward to this solo album from the minute I read about it on Eddie's web page. In the true spirit of a solo album, Eddie stears clear of sounding exactly like his famed band. Instead, Eddie brings out his influences with a batch of songs that fall somewhere between 1970's hard rock and 1980's heavy metal. The album wisely opens with one of the albums most powerful tracks, a mid-paced, heavy, rocker featuring the one and only Ronnie James Dio on vocals. Eddie also invited Dee Snider and Joe Lynn Turner to help out with vocals for a couple more songs. Eddie Ojeda, apart from writing the songs and playing the guitars and some bass parts, also undertook the rest of the vocals. His vocal performance works better on some tracks ("Please Remember" & "Evil Duz (What Evil Knows)" than on others. His vocals reminds me a bit of Ace Frehley here and there. He has that same raw and rough quality that is accented by his New York City attitude and accent. There are three instrumental tracks here. Some might assume that Eddie might try and show off a bit here, however all three songs steer clear of guitar wankery and instead offer up songs that are actually melodic and enjoyable. However, that is not to say that Eddie doesn't let some guitar solos rip. Other highlights include the smokin' Beatles cover "Eleanor Rigby" with Dee Snider on vocals and the Spanish inspired "Senorita Knows". It should also be mentioned that this CD also features drummer Joe Franco who played in Twisted Sister for a spell and bassist Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy, Whitesnake, Quiet Riot, Dio). Lyrically, I think Eddie was trying to be a bit transparent. Songs like "The Reason", which is an open apology offered up to a loved one, and "Love Power", which is a song that is about exactly what the title might lead you to believe, may not follow the current trend of depression and anger, but they are rather refreshing. If anyone was expecting this to be another Twisted Sister album or if anyone was expecting album of shred guitar, then "Axes 2 Axes" may be a dissappoint. Certainly "Axes 2 Axes" is not exactly groundbreaking. Who said it had to be? "Axes 2 Axes" is a strong, melodic album that should satisfy Eddie's fans or anyone who can appreciate good hard rock.