Anthrax, Worship Music

Album review mini-roundup: Anthrax, Ladytron, and The New Mastersounds

Anthrax, Worship MusicAnthrax, Worship Music (Megaforce Records) — No disrespect to John Bush, but Anthrax only sounds like Anthrax to me with Joey Belladonna behind the mic. Interestingly enough, his first album with Anthrax in more than 20 years is a much more modern-sounding album than I expected. While parts of Worship Music — tracks like “Earth on Hell” — are right out of the Persistence of Time era, others (“Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t” and “I’m Alive”) sound more the like modern, radio-friendly hard rock found on more recent discs.

Belladonna was in a tough spot here, as he and Scott Ian publicly admitted that Worship Music was largely complete when he was brought in. So he was basically singing over songs that were written with former singer Dan Nelson in mind. To his credit, Belladonna sounds at home with most of the material and delivers a fine performance.

In the end, Worship Music is a decent album but nowhere near as strong as the group’s best. Maybe if Belladonna can keep his gig for a bit, we can hear what a more organically produced ‘thrax record with him sounds like again.

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Cross-pollination: My old-school metal mixtape on Popdose!

My last Popdose mixtape (five-star jazz) seemed to go over pretty well on Popdose, so I thought I’d mix it up this time and delve into my first true love — heavy metal. This mixtape focuses on the metal that was burned into my brain during its formative years. So it should come as no surprise that I included Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Metallica among others.

So bust out that denim jacket and head over to Popdose now to check out my metal mix. Because it’s what Dio would want you to do. But just before you do, as a super-special bonus here’s one of the tracks that very nearly made the cut. It’s the first track from Anthrax’s blistering 1990 album Persistence of Time“Time.”

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Shuffle Along (aka Name That Tune) – week of 8/23/10

OK kids, I’ll be pretty busy this week so to pass the time I’m going to throw out more lyrics for you.  It’s simple: name the song and the band, and win nothing!  And no cheating please, there’s enough dishonesty in the world today.

1. “In the thirteen months I’ve spent here / with my manuscript and rhymes / I’ve paid in case for foolish pleasures / mother dear you’d call them crimes”

2. “Like a gangster / on the run / you will stagger homeward / to your precious one”

3. “Don’t give us none of your aggravation / We had it with your discipline” – Elton John, “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” (via Facebook comment)

4. “Fifteen years in the academy / he was like no cadet they’d ever seen” – Anthrax, “I Am the Law” (Raiden2332)

5. “Don’t be afraid / I didn’t mean to scare you / so help me, Jesus” – Toadies, “Possum Kingdom” (Thom)

6. “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends / we’re so glad you could attend / Come inside! Come inside!” – Emerson, Lake & Palmer, “Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression Part II” (Mizerychik)

7. “Took my chances on a big jet plane / never let them tell you that they’re all are the same”

8. “Sergeant O’Leary is walkin’ the beat / at night he becomes a bartender” – Billy Joel, “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” (Mizerychik)

9. “In the night, call you up and wanna know when you’re coming home / don’t deny me, call me back I’m so alone”

10. “I ain’t blind and I don’t like what I think I see”

Meme time: Pick an album for every year you’ve been alive

From Idolator via the AV Club comes a pretty cool music meme – compile a list of your favorite albums, with one for each year you’ve been alive. Sounds easy enough, but some years are positively stacked with music I love.  Forcing me to choose among my musical children is just so…cruel.

For me the most bountiful years were 1975-1978, 1980, 1982-1984, 1990, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2006, and 2007.

1975 – Kiss, Alive!
1976 – Led Zeppelin, Presence
1977 – Rush, A Farewell to Kings
1978 – Ace Frehley/Kiss, Ace Frehley
1979 – Pink Floyd, The Wall
1980 – Genesis, Duke
1981 – Rush, Moving Pictures
1982 – Rush, Signals
1983 – Iron Maiden, Piece of Mind
1984 – Iron Maiden, Powerslave
1985 – Kiss, Asylum
1986 – Queensrÿche, Rage for Order
1987 – Anthrax, Among the Living
1988 – Queensrÿche, Operation: Mindcrime
1989 – King’s X, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska
1990 – Queensrÿche, Empire
1991 – Queen, Innuendo
1992 – King’s X, King’s X
1993 – Robert Plant, Fate of Nations
1994 – Queensrÿche, Promised Land
1995 – Faith No More, King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime
1996 – King’s X, Ear Candy
1997 – Hank Jones, Favors
1998 – Pearl Jam, Yield
1999 – Ben Folds Five, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
2000 – Doves, Lost Souls
2001 – Spoon, Girls Can Tell
2002 – Koop, Waltz for Koop
2003 – Muse, Absolution
2004 – Mastodon, Leviathan
2005 – The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity?
2006 – Muse, Black Holes and Revelations
2007 – Field Music, Tones of Town
2008 (so far) – School of Language, Sea from Shore

As I would’ve predicted, there’s some pretty clear trends at play here.  Most of the bands I grew up loving (Kiss, Iron Maiden, Rush, etc.) were at the peak of their powers during my youth, thus their early list dominance.  That also explains why hard rock and metal are heavily represented on this list until the mid 1990s, when they either dropped off my radar entirely or were just not releasing stuff I was all that interested in.  In fact, metal pretty much disappears for good until 2004, when the awesome Leviathan was released.

The other item of note is that I was listening to most of the albums at the front of the list when they came out.  Starting around the mid-’90s, my musical horizons began to expand and I started going back and filling in holes. Were this list to go back a few decades there’d be a ton of Beatles and jazz on it.

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