Yet again, one more album from legendary Canada-based ANVIL. Their newest release Legal At Last (out February 14 on AFM Records) adds another winner to their catalog. Unlike bands that have been around half as long and have run out of steam, ANVIL shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. Beginning February 26 they embark on an exhaustive 41 gig European tour in Colmar, France and ends April 14 in Hamburg, Germany. These guys are the hardest working band in the \m/etal world if not the globe itself. They don’t slow down touring or record making. Each tune continues to be an original. Although some may sound similar, there is always enough variation to make each unique.
Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner joined together and formed the band over 40 years ago. Chris “Christ” Robertson has hammered home the low tones since 2014. In my opinion, the last albums with the current lineup have been their best. Now comes #18. The guys cover many of the concerns of today. The LP heads off with the title song “Legal At Last”. In typical ANVIL fashion, it’s a hard driving rhythmic double statement which celebrates the change in Canadian Mary Jane laws. They are also saying to potential fans: “It’s okay, ANVIL are okay, you’re allowed to like us at last!” Continuing the “legal” theme, “Nabbed in Nebraska”, is in the No. 2 spot. Now, flying right over your ass is “Chemtrails”. Not a wild guess what this one’s about.
“Gasoline” digs up a familiar Metal On Metal doom melody regarding a popular environmental issue with this combustible fuel and the theory of it contributing to global warming (not debating THAT here). A horse and buggy is looking more and more appealing, but alas no heaters or a/c in those carts. Besides, guitars tend to not like all the bumps. Has anyone polled the mares to see if they can withstand \m/etal blaring at 11, because I’m gonna want a 250 watt stereo in mine? “I’m Alive” comes next. It takes me back to the recognized original sound, especially with the second guitar mix and blistering leads. Totally badass. We all know some hard-headed people, who will look you in the eye and not hear a word you say, it’s like “Talking To the Wall”. A deliberate and hard-pounding song with a masterful and very clean solo effort.
Of much concern these days is the loss of privacy for the sake of security. Moving forward with the same theme as GIRLSCHOOL’S 2008 “I Spy”, ANVIL advances this concern to the present with “Glass House”. In these times of automated everything, the internet and people with scrupulous motives might have a list of everything you do. Scary. Of course with big environmental concern nowadays is the improper disposal of plastic products. “Plastic in Paradise” brings to mind the bays and awful photos of these products that have washed into our oceans and water supply. It’s not a pretty site and the boys remind us to not forget that paradise still needs some attention.
If you don’t think these guys have any badassery left, “Bottom Line” and “Food For the Vulture” will blow your mind. These are two of the hardest rocking tunes on the album that will melt you into a pile of mush. The album finishes up with “Said And Done” and “No Time”. If you have any solid form as a human being after these two tunes, then you were one big m-f’r with really large bones. I’ve said for several years that ANVIL progressively is getting better and I think Legal At Last is their best effort to date. Great theme, and excellent straightforward, ballbusting tunes. There is no sign of letting up. If you are a \m/etalhead, don’t wait to pick this one up. It is totally worth it. Salude’.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM
-MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH