Posted August 27, 2009 in Music


Crestline, San Bernardino


Ehren Behringer (vocals, guitar); Ryan Lightfoot (bass); Garet Cox (drums); Lester Maness (guitar).


The dry and arid SoCal desert (read: Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age) meets the rain-slicked Pacific Northwest (think: Alice In Chains and Soundgarden). It ain’t soundin‘ like mud, either!


The Best Of Us Didn’t Make It Out Alive (2009)


www.myspace.com/pickaxeie; www.pickaxetheband.com


There are some bands that’ve employed a certain stick-to-it-ness that they’ve rode to great success: Every album sounds the same, every single sounds like the radio hit before it, and though someone’s hairstyle might morph over the years, these acts ride their formula ad nauseam.


And then there’s Pickaxe, which, according to bassist Ryan Lightfoot, isn’t afraid of some sonic evolution. “The purpose of Pickaxe was to form a band that would be able to take the shape and form of anything on the scene to maintain a crossover ability and to end up with a sound that does exactly that,” he adds. “Pickaxe will be the next big band with the appeal to bring rock to a vast audience, but reaching our demographic through the heavier side of the commercial spectrum.”


If it sounds like Lightfoot’s confident about his wares rising to the top, that’s a good thing. In fact, the act—guitarist Lester Maness, drummer Garet Cox and vocalist/guitarist Ehren Behringer—stands a decent chance of cutting through the noise of the SoCal hard rock battle if it maintains such optimism. And, if they continue to make good decisions, like choosing a band name that isn’t grossly cliché.


“When we started the band we wanted a name that was simple and to the point,” says Lightfoot. “So many bands had long ass names like, ‘Bleeding Thy Bloodied Blood Blood’ and whatnot. We wanted a name that was similar to bands like Tool, Isis and Helmet.”


And speaking of Tool, Isis and Helmet, they’re three heavy rock acts somewhat akin to what Pickaxe’s doing musically. Plus, those three’ve got the longevity to boot—something Pickaxe will have with some more footwork and the continued support of their committed local fanbase.


“The one and probably only advantage about the IE is that the fans are loyal and believe in community and the resurrection of our scene,” says Lightfoot. ”We see a lot of support from our friends and fans—and for that reason Pickaxe will never stop playing, and we will always find a way to do so.”


Pickaxe with Vizionz, The Threat, The Lavish, NQM at the Mill Creek Cattle Co., 1874 Mentone Blvd., Mentone, (909) 389-0706; www.millcreekcattlecompany.com. Sat, 8PM. $10.


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