Anthrax – Persistence of Time

Well, it’s a wet and dreary day outside, my back is still killing me, though it does seem to be trending in the right direction. Because of the rain and my back there really that much I can do besides sit down and listen to another Anthrax record and try to come up with something to say about it. So, with that in mind, we’re exploring Anthrax’s ‘Persistence of Time’ my least favorite record from the band’s classic era.

 

Why this is my least favorite record is rather hard for me to nail down exactly. In many ways, it should be my favorite. Musically it’s far more complex than all their previous efforts. The lyrics are way deeper and thought provoking than any recorded to date. And every live version of every song that comes from this record I love. But whenever I listen to this CD I get bored and annoyed. There is something about the production that bothers me. It’s difficult to articulate, but it feels like the music and vocals are separate from each other and don’t blend together properly. Plus, the over feel is rather dull. Because of all that I don’t think I have listened to this record front to back more than a few times in the last 27 years. It’s very well possible today’s spin may be the last time I do that.

 

Looking at the Wikipedia page for this album its says that this record was received with mix reviews. Diehard fans rejected it because of its darker nature than previous efforts. The seems to confirm my memory of first hearing the record. But at the same time, I remember the band becoming a lot more popular with this record. Though they always had a presence on MTV and Much Music, I seem to remember them getting a lot more airtime with this album. Plus, it was during this band’s tour cycle that I noticed more and more people in my high school listening wearing their t-shirts and talking about the band. Now considering the tiny ass school, I went to, that isn’t saying too much, but it is something I noticed. Another thing I have noticed over the years when discussing Anthrax and ‘Persistence of Time’ is that if the person I’m talking to is my age or older, ‘Among the Living’ or ‘ Spreading the Disease’ tends to be their favorites and this album is where they lost them. Yet when I talk to people who are younger than me, and more than likely discovered the band with this record, it tends to be their favorite. So, I guess it all depends on when you discovered the band.

 

Despite my feeling about the production and sound of this record, you cannot deny that Anthrax matured quite a bit with this album. Most of their previous records the subject matter of the lyrics were usually based on comic book characters (‘I Am the Law’), Stephen King books (Misery Loves Company), or movie characters (Now it’s Dark). Occasionally they would flirt with more serious concepts, like Spreading the Diseases ‘The Enemy’ which I believe is about Hitler. ‘Among the Living’ saw the band take on more socially conscious subjects like drug addiction (NFL) and social justice (Indians) and ‘State of Euphoria’ saw that trend continue a bit tackling depression and suicide (Be All, End All and Who Cares Wins), though the light heartedness and humor of the band was still front and center. But with ‘Persistence of Time’ saw a much darker switch in the subject matter. Gone were the comic book and Stephen King references and in their place, were song tackling depression and racism, with the overall theme being about tolerance and peace. The record exhibits a major growth for the band.

 

Given our current social and political climate in this country, I feel a record of this nature is important and we need more like it. I think possibly the most relevant song would be the third song from this record ‘Keep it in the Family’ a song that tackles racism and the short-sightedness and ignorance that inspires it. I usually don’t do this in these reviews, but I think it’s worthwhile to just reproduce the lyrics in the entirety:

 

Mankind,

The public enemy’s not the man who speaks his mind

The public enemy’s the man that goes and acts blind

Searching for an answer that he’ll never find

An action from reaction and you can’t make a retraction

Once you’ve put your head out

And then you’re blue in the face,

As you try to state your case

You can think with your dick but it can’t shout

Yo

 

I try to understand what the hell is going on

I can’t imagine how things ever got so far gone

You separatists, say you want your own state

I’ll give them a state, a state of unconsciousness

Retribution, no solution, constitution

Discrimination, through the nation, raining hatred

 

I yell, when there’s schism you must rebel

I yell, so you’ll hear

I yell I refuse to live in your hell

I am what you fear

 

I’m the truth, I don’t keep it in the family

Live your life, take someone else

Keep it in the family

The real world’s outside your door

You can’t keep it in the family

You’ve got the longest way to fall

Keep it in the, keep it in the, keep it in the

Family

 

Don’t even try to tell me what you think is right

When to you blacks are niggers, and Jews are kikes

And you expect to be taken seriously

But your actions, they’re more than curiously.

Juvenile, you emulate what you hate

And you don’t even know why you feel this way

’cause daddy hated this, and mommy hated that

And your own ability to reason’s like a tire gone flat

Yo.

 

I try to understand what the hell is going on

I can’t imagine how things ever got so far gone

You separatists, say you want your own state

I’ll give them a state, a state of unconsciousness

Retribution, no solution, constitution

Discrimination, through the nation, raining hatred

 

I yell, when there’s schism you must rebel

I yell, so you’ll hear

I yell, I refuse to live in your hell

I am what you fear

 

I’m the truth, I don’t keep it in the family

Live your life, take someone else

Keep it in the family

The real world’s outside your door

You can’t keep it in the family

You’ve got the longest way to fall

When you keep it in the, when you keep it in the

When you keep it in the family

When you keep it in the, when you keep it in the

When you keep it in the family

 

Acting out of pure cold hatred

’cause of what another’s race is

Color of another’s face is

Different, and your own frustrations

Taking on a violent nature

Full of hate, so full of hate

You’d kill a man is that your fate

Your street becomes a police state

Why the hell do you hate?!

Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Hate, hate!!!

 

I’m not gonna stand for it

Someone’s gonna pay for it

I yell, we rebel

We’re the truth and we won’t keep it in the family

Live your life, take someone else

Keep it in the family

The real world’s outside your door

You can’t keep it in the family

You’ve got the longest way to fall

Keep it in the family

I’m the thing that you most fear

I don’t keep it in the family

I am the truth you won’t hear

Keep it in the family

The real world’s outside your door

You can’t keep it in the family

You’ve got the longest way to fall

Keep it in the family

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About Dc3 Pratt Productions

My name is Dave and I play at being in the music business. I'm a stagehand, backline tech, musician, songwriter, producer, engineer, videographer, photographer, journalist and graphic artist. In other words, I have a low-level industry job, a few consumer based production programs, a smart phone, a decent computer, and a few other accessories for creating music and video projects and have a basic grasp of how to use all them. I mainly write music reviews of my own record and CD collection, but I occasionally produce some music with horrible videos to go along with them that I post to YouTube, that next to no one watches beside a handful of close friends and family. I've created this sort make-believe record company as a forum to house all of my artistic creations. Mainly so I can direct my friends and family to a single place to check out my stuff if they want. I have no skills or talent in any of these creative endeavors I dabble in but continue to do them anyway. Hopefully, someone will find a use for them, but I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

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