Various Artists – Scrap Metal Volume 1
Release date: 12/11/221
Running time: 34 mins
Review by: Alun Jones
Recently I’ve been razzing around this rundown town in Platinum Al’s Pimp Mobile (a 1980 Chrysler Cordoba, of course), blasting out this new compilation from those hard rockin’ duderinos at RidingEasy records. And I haven’t had this much honest-to-rockness fun in goddamn ages!
You may recall RidingEasy’s previous comps, as reviewed by yours truly, from their Brown Acid collections of long lost proto-metal/stoner rock artifacts of the late 60s/early 70s. Well, with Scrap Metal, they’ve taken the same approach (unearthing long-forgotten rare tracks, and releasing a carefully restored sonic document of said tunes) – but this time, applied it to the age of 70s/80s classic Heavy Metal.
Listeners will discover a variety of styles of HM here, as the genre splits into numerous offshoots. So, we get to hear the blossoming styles of NWOBHM, thrash, doom and glam at a time when they all still share a generous amount of DNA. It’s classic metal, folks – and to be honest, I didn’t find that much difference between the “styles” on offer. What I did find was ten blinding tracks of fun (and slightly dumb) rock’n’roll monsters.
Witness, for example, the wonder of “Headbang” by Rapid Tears. Fast paced, dumb ass, dingus brained heavy rock for you to race to the chippy in a Trans-Am. It’s glorious. Then, with barely a rest, we’re assaulted by Air Raid’s “69 in a 55”: like early Maiden (even down to the Paul Di’Anno vocals) but with a cucumber stuffed down the spandex pants.
And the surprises keep on coming. Hades are simply brilliant, their track “Girls Will Be Girls” venturing toward speed metal. Resless have a crap name, but “The Power” is a Priest like power-thon that is bound to excite. “Enemy Ace” by The Beast is a definite unrefined highlight; almost in the realms of crossover, it’s a particularly aggressive track that’s totally unsuitable for polite tea parties with grandma.
The compilation isn’t perfect: Don Cappa’s “Steel City Metal” ticks all the cliché boxes, but plods. Yet adrenaline infused, urgent rockers like “Can’t Stop” by Dead Silence, “Iron Curtain” by Czar and “Viking Queen” by Real Steel keep the fists punching the air and a grin on the face.
As with the Brown Acid series, it’s bewildering how at least some of the bands on Scrap Metal Volume 1 didn’t get any further. I’ve heard a lot worse. However, careers are built on consistently great song writing and performance – we only have one (admittedly brilliant) song by each band to testify here.
The lyrics and themes may wallow in the murky depths of the tired and obvious, but I challenge any of you to not enjoy the music on offer. Park any pretentions of sophistication you may hold, the energy to be heard on these tracks is pure pleasure. Pull on your super tight jeans, bullet belt and patch covered battle vest, let your hair down (if you still can), and rejoice in a simpler time. Scrap Metal Vol 1 is a full on, beer swilling triumph of an album. HEADBANG!!!
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Today’s review is brought to you by Platinum Al in association with Ever Metal.