Archive for Stormtroopers of Death

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Anthrax- Among the Living

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2021 by 80smetalman

Anthrax’s 1987 album, “Among the Living,” which was the follow up to the fame launching “Spreading the Disease” album was one that caught a lot of people off guard. Many people assumed that after the success of the slightly more melodic predecessor, they would continue the same way with the new album. Boy, was everybody wrong! If anything, “Among the Living” was the thrashiest album to date.

This is evident with the very first song, the title track where they do quote the previous album title in the lyrics. This track beats you around the head with two very large blunt objects. It is just hard and heavy, just the way any thrash metal fan would expect. However, Joey Belladonna still has his highly melodic voice, blowing the myth that thrash singers all sound like barking dogs out of the water. If anything, the title track fulfills the speculation of what Joey would have sounded like if he was the lead singer in the Stormtroopers of Death.

Listening to the album again these past few days has brought a paradox to my insane mind. Back in 1987, I accepted the title track as a great opener to the album. However, all three times I saw Anthrax live in the past decade, they opened with the second song on the album, “Caught in a Mosh” and it is a great song to open a show with. Believe me, it gets people moshing but here’s the thing, even though Anthrax opens their live shows with it, it still doesn’t sound out of place being second on the album. God, I better stop thinking about this or my head might do a “Scanners.”

Ian and Bello proving that age has little effect on metal. Bloodstock 2016

Another concern, at least for the record company was that a return to a more hardcore thrash style might not be a successful venture. Album sales and the consensus from many in the metal world that this is Anthrax’s best album shoot that down. Although, I am still partial to “Spreading the Disease” but I admit I’m mental. However, further proof is the fact that in February, 1987, while watching the famous UK show, “Top of the Pops” in the student bar, I had the satisfaction to see Anthrax break into the top 40! Okay, it only got to 34 but it was a slap in the face to all the pop loving trendies.

Yet a further element which sets Anthrax apart from many other thrash bands is that their songs are about topical issues. “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)” is an anti drug abuse song inspired by the tragic death of John Belushi. It is also “nice fukin’ life” spelled backwards. However, Scott Ian still gets asked by the less informed why he wrote a song about the National Football League. I agree with Scott here, listen to the song you asshole! “Indians” is about how badly the Native Americans have been treated throughout the centuries since Europeans came to the Americas. Then there’s my vote for hidden gem, “A Skeleton in the Closet.” This song is about former Nazis who were allowed to come to the West undetected and live among the populace as if nothing happened in their past but are still being hunted by those who won’t forget the holocaust.

All of these songs are done with the full ear pounding power of Anthrax. Each song has drum fills, pounding bass and a rhythm guitar which can change speed at the drop of a hat. Dan Spitz produces some good solos along with the mosh parts and it is his efforts on “A Skeleton in the Closet,” which makes it my hidden gem. However, in spite of all the hardcore, thrash and speed metal all rolled into one, Joey Belladonna sings through these songs as if it’s just another day at the office. There are also some nice little surprises along the way, for example, the acoustic intro to “A.D.I./Horror of it All.” With all of these element in place, it is little wonder these songs are so good.

Track Listing:

  1. Among the Living
  2. Caught in a Mosh
  3. I Am the Law
  4. Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
  5. A Skeleton in the Closet
  6. Indians
  7. One World
  8. A.D.I./Horror of It All
  9. Imitation of Life
Anthrax

Joey Belladonna- lead vocals

Scott Ian- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Dan Spitz- lead guitar, backing vocals

Frank Bello- bass, backing vocals

Charlie Benante- drums

Anthrax proved with “Among the Living” that you don’t always have to compromise your principles to be successful. With this album, they came back harder and faster and for that, the album was very successful.

Next post: Metallica- The $5.98 EP/$9.98 CD Garage Days Revisited

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Agnostic Front- Cause for Alarm

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2020 by 80smetalman

Even though I had been in England for a couple of months and was soaking up the NWOBHM bands who hadn’t made it across the Atlantic, it didn’t prevent great American thrash bands from making it across the ocean in the opposite direction. Although I like to think I was solely responsible for introducing the Stormtroopers of Death and Suicidal Tendencies to Great Britain, (at least to my new friends at Queen Mary College), I know that this wasn’t the case. Especially as the metalheads of Britain were getting into thrash all on their own and one of these albums which came their way was the 1986, “Cause for Alarm” album from Agnostic Front.

In the spirit of their New York counterparts, Stormtroopers of Death, “Cause for Alarm” is a short, sharp assault of thrash metal. Those with delicate ears should definitely not listen to this album. Ten songs in just over twenty-three minutes but they are all super explosive songs guaranteed to pack any mosh pit. The longest song is “Growing Concern” which is just over four minutes long. One point of note is the contribution of newly added guitarist Alex Kinon. He does produce some good guitar solos on the album and tracks like “Growing Concern” and the opener “The Eliminator” are definitely ones to note. Another point to note was that the track, “Your Mistake,” has been covered by both Fear Factory and Hatebreed. But for me the track of note is “Out for Blood,” which successfully combines the hardcore thrash and a cool more metal guitar solo so well.

One track, which brought some controversy in 1986 was “Public Assistance.” It was even criticized by Dead Kennedys lead singer, Jello Biafra, for its lyrics and if I had actually been able to decipher the lyrics above the music back in 1986, my left leaning self would not have been impressed with them. “Public Assistance” has racist implications, stating that racial minorities were living a life of luxury off the backs of hard working white people. A belief that was particularly common all throughout 1980s Reagan America.

Uncle Sam takes half my pay

So you can live for free

I got a family and bills to pay

No one hands money to me

Get money in advance

You can go to school for nothing

Got that government grant

When you’re sick from shooting up

Medicaid pays full portion

When little Maria gets knocked up

She gets a free abortion

If I had understood lyrics such as this back then, I might have been put off the rest of the album. Back then, I was left of centre in the realms of British politics which in the American realm, would have made me a pinko, Commie subversive. Now a days, I’m more open minded and won’t punish a band just because I don’t agree with the lyrics in one song. Besides, the band didn’t actually write the song. This is still a great thrash album.

Track Listing:

  1. The Eliminator
  2. Existence of Hate
  3. Time Will Come
  4. Growing Concern
  5. Your Mistake
  6. Out for Blood
  7. Toxic Shock
  8. Bomber Zee
  9. Public Assistance
  10. Shoot His Load

Roger Miret- vocals

Alex Kinon- lead guitar

Vinnie Stigma- rhythm guitar

Louie Beatto- drums

Rob Kabula- bass

In 1986, thrash metal was thriving on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. Agnostic Front contributed to this with one hell of an album in “Cause for Alarm.”

Next post: Billy Squier- Enough is Enough

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Waysted- Vices

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2017 by 80smetalman

waysted_vices

The US and Great Britain has always enjoyed an exchange of musical ideas, although Canada has also been included in this. This has been even more the case in regards to heavy metal where both countries have benefited from this metal exchange. When I came to Britain in 1986, I too participated in this exchange of metal. I brought American metal bands like the Stormtroopers of Death and Suicidal Tendencies and my British friends introduced me to bands like Waysted. The problem was that when I was introduced to Waysted, it was their 1986 album which was first played to me. As a result, I never got around to listening to Waysted’s 1983 debut album, “Vices,” until last week.

So, did I miss out on anything great from not listening to “Vices” for three decades? My honest opinion is that I don’t feel that I missed out on any really mega fantastic album here because it doesn’t quite reach that bar. On the other hand, if it had been played to me back in 1983, I would have bought it as it’s a decent album.

I find that the opener, “Love Loaded,” does the job of getting you to want to listen to the album more. However, it’s the second song, “Women in Chains” that really gets things going. When a song repeats a line constantly, it can be either amusing, revitalizing or off putting. With “Women in Chains,” it does the second. The next track, “Sleazy” is more a catchy straight forward rocker with some pretty decent guitar hooks in it. “Right From the Start” tries to be this trippy way out concept song but I wasn’t too impressed. Fortunately things get back to more of a rock vibe with the next song, “Toy With the Passion.” “Right From the Start” has a cool intro but goes a bit more power ballad afterwards. However, there’s some good guitar work on it. “Hot Love” is a let’s be sleazy tune done in a bluesy fashion. The song works and I do love the piano solo on it. The penultimate track, “All Belongs to You” is okay and the chorus is a bit catchy but nothing spectacular. Then things go out very interestingly with a metalized cover of the Jefferson Airplane classic, “Somebody to Love.” Wow, what a way to close an album!

Track Listing:

  1. Love Loaded
  2. Women in Chains
  3. Sleazy
  4. Night of the Wolf
  5. Toy With the Passion
  6. Right From the Start
  7. Hot Love
  8. All Belongs to You
  9. Somebody to Love

Waysted

Waysted

Fin Muir- lead vocals

Ronnie Kayfield- lead guitar, backing vocals

Paul Raymond- rhythm guitar, backing vocals, keyboards

Pete Way- bass

Frank Noon- drums

Note: This is the best photo of Waysted I could find. I don’t know when this one was taken but that’s why there are five musicians listed in the band and only four in the photo.

“Vices” charted 78 in the UK so I can see why it never reached the States in 1983. If it had gotten into the Import section at my local record store, I would have clocked it. Saying that, it’s an album worth listening to because for Waysted, it is a promising start for better things to come.

Next Post: Motley Crue- Shout at the Devil

To by Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

My Top 15 Albums

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2015 by 80smetalman

Typical me of my school days. I was always forgetting to do assignments which often got me in trouble with teachers. I almost missed the one set by a fellow blogger to list my 15 favourite albums. Looks like I’m just going to make the deadline here so don’t give me a detention. Well here they are:

sod

  1. Stormtroopers of Death- Speak English or Die

stend

2. Suicidal Tendencies

 kdbd

3. Killer Dwarfs- Big Deal

dio

4. Dio- Holy Diver

FreedomAtPointZero

5. Jefferson Starship- Freedom at Point Zero

 OneMoreFromTheRoad_LynyrdSkynyrdalbum

6. Lynyrd Skynyrd- One More From the Road

 imlad

7. Iron Maiden- Live After Death

 paranoidt

8. Black Sabbath- Paranoid

Aerosmith-Toys_in_the_Attic

9. Aerosmith- Toys in the Attic

tsyou

10. Twisted Sister- You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll

dv-ssor

11. Vaughn- Soldiers and Sailors on Riverside

hotdrise

12. Hair of the Dog- Rise

220px-Molly_Hatchet_-_Flirtin'_with_Disaster

13. Molly Hatchet- Flirtin’ With Disaster

nzhotd

14. Nazereth- Hair of the Dog

220px-REO_Speedwagon_-_Nine_Lives

15. REO Speedwagon- Nine Lives

Honourable Mentions

38 Special- Rockin’ Into the Night

Jefferson Starship- Winds of Change

Kreator- Pleasure to Kill

Van Halen- II

Dio- The Last in Line

Twisted Sister- Under the Blade

AC/DC- Back in Black

AC/DC- Highway to Hell

Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon

Blackfoot- Highway Song

Damned Nation- Grand Designs

This is my list respectfully submitted on 15 September, 2015.

My Concert Superstition

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 5, 2015 by 80smetalman

I thought I’d sneak one more in before I head off to Bloodstock on Friday. Are you a superstitious person? Normally, I’m not but I do have one that relates to music. Friends have found this weird and even frustrating at times but I have always had this one superstition about concerts. It is that when travelling to a concert, it is bad luck to listen to any of the acts you are going to see that night. My logic being that it would somehow detract from the live show. I don’t know where this idea came from but it’s firmly in my head even though it was disproven once when I went to see the Stormtroopers of Death and a friend put them on in the car on the way. My logic to why it didn’t ruin the night was the fact I hadn’t even heard of them until that day. Strange isn’t it? Although I have no problem with listening to any of the artists seen on the night on the journey home. That is why I told my stepson that we will listen to his Sabaton CD on the way home instead of the way up.

That’s my metal superstition, do any of you have any?

Tribute to Frank Formica- A True Metal Fan

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2014 by 80smetalman

Hi everyone, it’s been awhile and let me just say that I am having a great time here in New Jersey. In the past ten days, I’ve eaten Cap’n Crunch for breakfast nearly every day and I think I’ve consumed enough Yuengling to make up for the eight years I’ve gone without it. Of course there’s the local cusine, I couldn’t go without at least eating one Philly cheese steak. When I return to the UK on Friday, I will be introducing the country, well Gloucestershire anyway, to the game of beer pong. But the best thing about my time in NJ is the chance to meet up with long time no see good friends.

Frank and Me

Frank and Me

The great thing about friends, as far as music goes, is that they are always introducing one another to new music and the latest offerings from artists they have in common. Back in the golden days of heavy metal, the 1980s, my metal friend Frank Formica was always discovering new metal and playing it for the rest of us. Frank  almost singlehandedly introduced me the thrash and enlightened me to the musical offerings of Metallica and Anthrax. On the flip side I introduced him to Kreator and The Killer Dwarfs and together we experienced the Stormtroopers of Death when we saw them live in New York. That concert will live in both our memories as the insaneist one we’ve ever been to and there were many others. Frank was clearly an inspriation behind my love for heavy metal back then.

Frank as Alice Cooper

Frank as Alice Cooper

Nowadays Frank runs a karaoke show called Veteran Cosmic Rocker named after a song from a Moody Blues album I visited earlier this year. In order to get gigs, it’s not total heavy metal although, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if it was. I went to his show last night at a bar called The Riverside, near Mays Landing, NJ. First, I never knew he could sing that well as he belted out a few classic Alice Cooper ditties in line with the Halloween theme. He also sang several Rolling Stones classics like “Sympathy for the Devil” and his girl friend helped get the party started by singing a few more mainstream tunes like the song by Pink which creates a pun here. The biggest surprise, however, was when Frank introduced his friend who had come all the way from England and that he was going to sing some heavy metal. He proceded to sing some Judas Priest, although I can’t for the life of me remember which one, “Detroit Rock City ” by KISS and to end the night on a good note, he sang “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica. I felt very honoured that he sang those songs for me.

Frank in action

Frank in action

After a slow start, the night took off and overall things went pretty well. Since half of the clientelle was made up with members of the Tough Guys MC, there wasn’t going to be a mad rush to the microphone but several ladies made more than one trip up and entertained the crowd. Did I go up to the mike? You must be kidding, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket which is why I have always been more of an appreciator of music rather than a purvyeor.

The Riverside or for non- Americans, a typical American bar

The Riverside or for non- Americans, a typical American bar

Many factors have contributed to making me the metalhead I am today. One of the more major ones was my friend Frank Formica who opened my eyes to all sorts of heavy metal. If it hadn’t been for Frank, I would not have been able to write “Rock and Roll Children” and I suspect those who have read it have already figured out that I based the Frankie character in the story on Frank. I’m sure we all have friends who influenced us musically and for me, there was no one better than Frank.

Next post: Black Sabbath- The Mob Rules

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London