Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anthrax - Oidivnikufesin
Cherry Red Films

Reissue of merry metal scamps ver ‘Thrax (as Phil Alexander would no doubt have said circa 1989) long out of print live vid. Touring their thrash meets hardcore breakthrough Among The Living this captures, as they say, the Bermuda-shorted cementing their legend at the Hammersmith Odeon in late ’87. Sorta like their budget Live After Death. Triangular guitars, massive hair (yup even Scott Ian), colossal drumkit that would make Nicko McBrain queasy, curry-gut gurning, gooning and gallivanting with appropriately eighties entertainment trade announcements crowd-wards and ill-advised stage outfits beyond the apt adoption of loonpants - yes, Joey Belladonna in that Indian headdress on, erm, Indians, just to get the point across, like - all add to the churning whirlpool that, despite their Ramones of thrash cartoon image, is as good a display of expertly executed thrash at it’s intricate but involving best. Interspersed with clips of the band out and about doing band things (ie nothing), this comprises a slew of classics (again as they say) such as Metal Thrashing Mad, Indians, I Am The Law, Armed And Dangerous, Caught In A Mosh, Madhouse, Gung Ho and Beastie Boys-but-better spoof rap I’m The Man, and, perhaps befitting their hardcore roots, the cameras get up close enough to make you think the lens will soon be smashed by a random mosh moment from either band or audience member (participant), giving the necessary feel of the stage atmosphere (the thick of it, I think they say) often missing from live vids.
Unavailable for some time, this is a tempting trip back in time seen as for all intents and purposes they went awol from their pole position alongside Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth in the hierarchy of thrash after 1989’s excellent State Of Euphoria and hit single (that be the basketball on bare flesh stinging energy of Got The time) spawning Persistence Of Time. Not one for the nostalgic, this should ride the too clean linen of the bands now making hay from the stables of classic thrash. No extras for the hardcore acolyte but the reappearance of a long lost document should suffice, though you’d have thought if the band gave a fart they may have done a bonus section of interviews and other footage.
Stu Gibson
Shadows Of Knight - Shadows Of Knight

Mid-sixties Chicago garage legends here get a Rev-Ola refit applied to their third, self-titled album that closed the decade on a suitably dark ride, with the loose-limbed hallucinogenic R’n’B funk that is the Shake single and it’s B-side (the demented Booker T organ-grinding raga of From Way Out To Way Under) added to the addled conjoining of bad-trip boogie (‘water-melon with wings’ anyone?), insatiably unsanitised psych-blues-bastadry (I’ll Set You Free), bug-eyed speed-jitterpop perky jean lust removal machines (I Wanna Make You All Mine), disarticulated covers like Buffalo Springfield's Bluebird and shambling pop ballads (Alone) with which they roared past the peace and love brigade on in plumes of grease and dust. As anyone who took their first steps into the garage fug with the fabled Nuggets artefact this, like say The Standells, Seeds and almighty 13th Floor Elevators, realises, the gritty growl and lascivious sneer n’ leer - recalling at times Morrison’s both Van and Jim - of this bunch of swaggering dark-lords is an underworld ready and waiting for your willing soul to delve into deeper beyond the famed and acclaimed Shake (here in both 1968 single and Revisited 1969 versions) and Alone and the few on the Nuggets box (including I’ll Set You Free from this album). So, pretty essential then, say you? Yes, say we and I.
Stu Gibson
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