COME ON IN AND COVER ME

Good day all,

I have been a fan of Anthrax since the beginning of their existence when Fist Full of Metal first hit the stores. I have always found Anthrax to be one of the few metal acts who really do not take themselves too seriously and allow their music and personalities to shine in whatever they do. Even when they take on a serious issue in their music i.e. “Indians” they still aren’t over preaching, if you will, to their audience but trying to have as much fun as possible while trying to teach just a little bit. This as far as I am concerned is the way a lot more bands should approach music. Take a look at their EP I’m the Man, there is nothing but fun on that EP and the fact that they even made this EP and that song in particular is pretty impressive for a thrash band, especially one in the 80’s and 90’s.

So this week Anthrax released a new EP just in time for their headlining spot on the Metal Alliance Tour that starts Saturday (March 23) in Las Vegas. The new EP Anthems is an album of cover songs from the likes of RUSH, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Cheap Trick, and Journey among other bands that they pay homage to on this EP. I have listened to the album and my opinion is it is a great addition to the history and importance of these songs and it is a great way to hear Anthrax do something new in terms of songs they have not put down on a record but the problem I have with the album is that they didn’t do anything that would make you think anything differently of the songs themselves. They basically made a carbon copy of the songs and really, as far as I can tell, didn’t put any type of “Anthrax” spin on any of these songs. These songs, although well done, are the original songs that Anthrax decided to record. They will make for good encores as they are playing the entire Among The Living album and needed something to end with but there is nothing that screams out Anthrax’s personality. That is what I have an issue with; if you are going to do a cover, do something with it that makes it your own. A band doesn’t have to recreate the entire song or re-imagine it but at least add something of your own to it and not just copy the original. Too much of that already goes on!

I love a great cover song and some bands have made a career out of doing them without the general public even knowing about them. Take a look at Six Feet Under who have done a great job of making the covers of Motley Crue’s “Bastard”, Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf” and Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” sound like a death metal version of the song. They kept the rhythm but they took the steps to make these songs truly an interpretation of what Six Feet Under is about. Even though I am not a Six Feet Under fan, I appreciate what they did with these songs, I have heard the originals and I liked them, show me something different if you are going to cover another bands music! I hate to use this as an example as it was more comical than good but even Pat Boone recorded a heavy metal covers album and even though it was big band/jazz it at least was a re-interpretation of the original music and you have to be impressed with that.  By the way the name of the album was In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy, I bet a lot of you didn’t know about this album and are now intrigued!   

Anyway, you see my point right? I love Anthrax and all of the music they have put out but they could have at least tried something new with some of these songs. They did it with “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” on the I’m The Man EP, why couldn’t they do it here? I don’t want to stop you from buying an album from any band, especially Anthrax who I think is currently the hardest working band in metal, but they could have at least given us something a little different with these songs or even put a little more personality into them. The covers on this album are really good and will make for a good listen, but as far as I am concerned; once was enough.

Until Later, Peace!

Lurch