One of the strongholds of New Wave of British Heavy Metal and one of Neat Records' very first signings, Axis, from Cleveland (in the northeast of England), were, by the label's standards, an unusually professional though not all that heavy sounding group. Founded at some unspecified point in the late '70s, and featuring Neil Grafton (vocals), Mick Tucker (guitar), Dave Little (guitar), John Cunningham (bass, vocals), Paul McGuire (keyboards), and Marty Day (drums), Axis made their recorded debut with 1980s "Lady" single -- better known for its B-side "Messiah," which sounded rather like Judas Priest enhanced with synths. Ensuing internal conflicts would first delay, and then derail the band's career prospects, however, as their only new song thereafter, "Flame Burns On," actually showed them taking a step backwards by unnecessarily simplifying their sound. At least Axis could be said to have served as a good training ground for its musicians, who later re-emerged individually in higher profile bands like Samson, White Spirit, and Tank, among others. ~ Eduardo RivadaviaPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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