We piped up about Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood’s attempt at writing a definitive ‘Tallica biog earlier this year and we duly got sent a copy by Faber Faber. It took a while to get through the 400 or so pages, but it was certainly worth it.
6 things we learnt whilst reading the latest Metallica biog
This is the first time Def Leppard have played Hysteria in its entirety. Yes, they did it eleven times at The Joint in the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel, but it’s one of the greatest rock albums of all time and so it’s absolutely necessary for it to be documented like this. Just like this.
In November 2011, Devin Townsend (and friends) came to London to treat fans of the Devin Townsend Project’sfouralbumconcept to the whole shebang. That meant four shows across four nights, featuring august djent, seething progressive metal whales, gothic cheerleaders, soft shuffle blues, presidential campaigns, glorious power metal, and pretty much everything in between. And they filmed it. We asked Ruth Booth to check out whether By A Thread is as good to watch back as she remembers it being at the time.
Cradle of Filth Evermore Darkly Peaceville Records 18 October 2011
by Jon Kerr
Famed for their ever-changing band members and labels (and one of the most offensive band t-shirts in history) Cradle of Filth are argubaly Suffolk’s finest extreme metal export. Having maintained an impressive run of recording and touring throughout their nearly twenty-year lifespan, is Evermore Darkly proof that they’re still the gift that keeps on giving…?
It’s a busy night in London. Katatonia headlining the Koko, performing Last Fair Deal Gone Down in its entirety and filming for a new DVD. Marty Friedman is at the Camden Underworld, widdling away and giving the guitar geeks all the musical porn they need to fretwank to. New York bruisers Emmure are headlining the Relentless Garage, providing the perfect downtuned soundtrack for some brutal pit action and dance moves people choose to forget when they wake up. DETAG.
Nirvana Live At Reading Geffen Records 02 November 2009
by Hugh Platt
You know what you don’t see anymore? Kids in Nirvana hoodies. When I was a teenager, they were everywhere – getting their ears pierced in that dodgy shop on the top floor of the mall, skateboarding badly up and down in the park, and hanging around outside off-licenses trying to buy cider. But not anymore.
Through Time POV
by Joel McIver
Of the Big Four Of Thrash, Anthrax were always the most entertaining. Metallica had the big ambitions, Megadeth the vitriol and Slayer the giddying acceleration, but only this bunch of New Yorkers brought the noise in a way that made you laugh while you moshed. Their antics are back for your viewing pleasure on these two DVDs.
Like most of us, I pretty much ignored Anthrax after 1990’s Persistence Of Time, which didn’t really match up to their classic ’80s canon. Oidivnikufesin (it’s “nice fuckin’ video” backwards) is a classic 1987 show that included the big-shorts thrash anthems (‘I Am The Law’, ‘Among The Living’, ‘Indians’, ‘A.I.R.’) which you’ll remember jumping about to in your bedroom if you’re over 30.
Anybody younger than that might find it all a bit weird, what with guitarist Scott Ian shaving ‘Not’ into his chest fur, the endless gurning, the masses of black hair (head and body) which covered the band and singer Joey Belladonna’s insistence on wearing a Red Indian head-dress.
Watch ‘Among The Living’ from Oidivnikufesin by Anthrax
Still, the fast and furious beats from drummer Charlie Benante and Ian’s ridiculously precise riffage make it immediately clear that Anthrax were a serious metal band under all the clowning.
Through Time POV is less coherent, a bunch of live clips glued together with some interview footage. The live stuff is mostly songs that you’ve already seen on Oidivnikufesin or Youtube, although the version of ‘Gung-Ho’ – a thrash anthem like few others – is still a must-see.
The chats from the band, pictured at their late-80s commercial peak, don’t really add an awful lot of value (although their mile-a-minute, Noo Yoik-style patter is hilarious), which leaves the DVD as a slight souvenir of a long-gone era. Stick with Oidivnikufesin, it’s much better.
Oidivnikufesin5/6 Through Time POV 2/6
Both Through Time POV and Oidivnikufesin by Anthrax are out now on Universal
Bowling For Soup
Live and Very Attractive
by Hugh Platt
Live videos are tough to get right. Get it wrong, and it’s a dullard’s cut’n’shut of live clips and lung-numbingly dull shots of the band lurking inside airport lounges. Get it right though, and you’ve got something as fascinating as Lamb of God’s warts’n’all Walk With Me In Hell.
Now Bowling For Soup have decided to cement their position as the kings of toilet-humour punk with Live and Very Attractive, shot during their last year’s UK jaunt at the Manchester Apollo.
The gig itself is 90 minutes of songs you’ll have absorbed like punk rock radiation. ‘1985’, ‘Punk Rock 101’, and ‘Girl All The Bad Guys Want’. It’s a fine performance – it’s everything else on the DVD that’s the problem.
Live and Very Attractive talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk. The band talks and talks about the antics they get up to on tour, but they don’t actually do… well… anything.
Older, married, and less likely to set fire to each others farts these days, the only thing duller than this, is that time at a gig before the headliner when all you have to is gauge whether you’ve got time to hit the bar or not.
Watch an interview with director of the “fun and crazy film”, King Hollis
The band even manages to make the commentary track even greyer than that of a regular DVD. The most exciting bit is when two of them go to the toilet at the same time.
Towards the end of the DVD, there’s a rare moment of collective post-gig drunkenness. “Usually within 20 minutes,” the bus driver slurs, “Bowling For Soup are in bed,” while BFS bassist Erik Chandler creases up in a silent cackle of tacit agreement.
It’s hard not to find this moment to be all too precise a summing up of the whole Bowling For Soup DVD experience.
Live And Very Attractive by Bowling For Soup is out now on A&G Records
We are huge Batman fans here at Thrash Hits .com so when Raziq Rauf was invited to a special preview screening of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight, he almost bit their hand off. Here’s our review.
Let’s make this whole review about The Joker. More specifically, let’s make it all about the late Heath Ledger’s portrayal because it is absolutely magnificent.
First things first. Will he get an Oscar? Probably not. As brilliantly malevolent as Ledger is in this performance and as ready the public are to commemorate his life and work with a posthumous Oscar, it’s wholly unlikely that the role of The Joker is dull enough for The Academy to acknowledge with a gong.
Ledger is the stand out star in The Dark Knight. While Christian Bale broods with silent yet excitingly forceful anticipation – in that way that only Bale can and always does do – it’s clear from the off who the star is.
Bale is fascinatingly vicious as Batman. He growls away at Captain Gordon and then smacks up the numerous perps with a vital mix of clinical precision and brute force. Comic fans note: The blows he later lands on The Joker are as close to the beating he serves up in The Killing Joke as you’re likely to see on the big screen.
Just as Batman is refreshingly remorseless in his quest for justice, The Joker is unerringly relentless is his pursuit of chaos. Heath Ledger is just as, if not even more maniacal than anything in the comics.
Maybe he has actually played the role perfectly. Maybe because the character is so ridiculously frightening and unpredictably violent on the page, as Ledger brings The Joker to life in such dazzling fashion, the viewer manages to feel true, pure dread – a very difficult emotion to evoke.
It has been well documented that Ledger always goes the extra mile for his roles and that he represented a psychotic, knife-wielding, ultra-scarred mentalist so convincingly and compellingly, one can only wonder to what lengths the Australian Oscar-nominee went.
Watch the second trailer for The Dark Knight
On top of Bale and Ledger, Christopher Nolan had some of the finest actors around at his disposal here with the pedigree of Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman taking secondary roles. The impressive cast does everything that is expected of them, with ease.
Aaron Eckhart is excellent as the conscientious, all-American Number One Son of Gotham City as District Attorney Harvey Dent until his slightly ungainly transformation into Two Face while, as the love interest for TDK, Maggie Gyllenhall casts the spectre of Katie Holmes’ insipid performance in Batman Begins far away simply by actually having a personality.
While those actors helped Nolan’s masterpiece achieve, it was he that sculpted the breathtaking cityscape in a way that sets this summer blockbuster masked head and caped shoulders above the rest of the pack.
Rather than any fantastical caricature, Gotham City simply looks like any other grimy, crime-riddled American megalopolis, increasing the sense of realism immeasurably. The stunts are huge and (very) explosive but not ridiculous and overblown.
Stick it all on a big screen – or an absolutely massive screen if you go to the IMAX, and we definitely recommend doing that – and you’ve got an incredibly intense two and a half hours with little no respite.
The early American Psycho-referencing in-joke should certainly be noted with a knowing smirk but it’s just another trivial part of a comic book adaptation that, however brilliantly executed, will struggle to be considered serious or highbrow enough to warrant the most high profile Oscars.
The Bloody Reign Of Slayer
by Joe Shooman
The prolific metal writer Joel McIver’s latest book picks up the reins of his ultra-successful Metallica biography by casting his expert eye over their rather harder compatriots and occasional rivals, Slayer.