Thursday, June 9, 2011

Anthrax: One Last Drop

Review # 11
Artist: Anthrax
Title: One Last Drop
Format: LP
Label: Happy
Year: 2007
Songs: 19

Ok, so I got out of order here. I just picked this record up last week and put it in the wrong spot alphabetically when I put it away.  Like the last review, I have to start by saying this is not the New York-based metal band called Anthrax, it's the UK based anarcho-punk band from the early 80s. This record is a compilation of the bands 1980s singles, originally released on the Crass, Motorhate, and Small Wonder labels, as well as demo and compilation tracks and a few live recordings. I believe this more or less captures the complete discography of this band, as I don't think they ever released a full-length.

This is the first time I've played this record, and I definitely enjoyed it, but can't say I was blown away by it. Anthrax is a band that was very much a product of the early 80s anarcho-punk scene, and by no means were they the most innovative of their cohort. The songs on this record do not at any point stray far from the musical (or topical) trail that was blazed by Crass and Conflict. A few of these songs, like "Violence is Violence" would feel right at home on the first Conflict full-length, which I'll be reviewing later in the CD portion of the blog. Still, if you like that sound (and I do) then this a cool record. Simple but powerful riffs with semi-melodic vocals and the occasional shout-out chorus make songs like "Capitalism is Cannibalism" and "They've Got It All Wrong" good music to sing along to while you cut your hair, which is what I was doing while I listened to this.

One thing that is not that great about this record is that, because Anthrax wasn't terribly prolific in their recordings, you get several version of some of these songs. They're recorded at different times and using different equipment, but they're otherwise pretty much exactly the same, and it gets a bit repetitive once you've heard "Exploitation" for the third time.

On the plus side, this record comes with a patch and two stickers, which is nice, though not as exciting as it would have been to me a few years back.

For punk history nerds, it's worth noting that the bass player from Anthrax went on to play bass with crust pioneers Antisect. If, like me, you are a semi-obsessive collector of rare UK punk, this is worth seeking out, but for someone who's more casually interested in this scene, any of the many excellent anarcho-punk compilations that feature this band are probably sufficient. If UK punk doesn't really float your boat at all, you're not missing anything here.

"I can't make sense of it, it doesn't make sense!"

Total songs listened: 141

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