Raxola (LP) 1978



Recommended ****

While this Belgium outfit shows its influences from the previous year, they definitely have their own hardcore power-pop sound, blasting through the first side barely taking a breath, hitting it with “Wait for the War,” sinking into a sludgy sound at the end of the side, the sudden detour foreshadowing the quite interesting diversity of side two.
The flipside jumpstarts with “Anxious” and “Steal It” but slows down for “Who Do You Think You Are,” which is rough around the edges but pure power-pop at the center.  From there, they go from the rip of “Panic in the Sewer” to the heavy-sludge sleepwalk of “I Can Sleep,” a gothic death-rock number that bridges Sabbath and Bauhaus (the latter would form around this time).  They conclude the set with some signature punk, the diversity that preceded not only helping the whole set, but making those punk blasts at the end like fire-hydrant sprays to the face after a summer crawl through a warm sewer.
Elements of power-pop are felt in several cuts, some foreshadowing the Dickies, and the entire set foreshadows various aspects of hardcore, the no-reggae diversity of the album foreshadowing the diversity of bands like Husker Du and the Big Boys.  This might not be a great set, but it’s a good one, definitely a worthwhile listen for fans of 70s punk.
— winch

(author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s)

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