Anthrax – Anthems
Ok folks, this is it, the final Anthrax CD in my collection. I’m not sure when the next review will be, but it will for a different band. For our final Anthrax title, we’re revisiting 2013 Extended play ‘Anthems’ a short EP featuring several 1970’s classic rock songs. This would be the last Anthrax release to feature the production and lead guitar talents of Rob Caggiano, who would leave the band shortly after the CD’s release to resume his production career (though weeks later would he would join Volbeat, a position he maintains to this day). It would also be the last Anthrax new release I would purchase on CD.
Initially, I bought the CD because I read they were covering a Rush song, ‘Anthems’ that alone was enough for me to preorder it online. When I first got it, I loved it, for about a week, and haven’t listened to it since. Even though their performances of these songs are spot on, it’s novelty wore off quickly.
Since I’ve already reviewed CD, I’m just going to barrow from that the rest of this post.
“Upon first listen, I was really into it, the opening track being Rush’s ‘Anthem’ is simply awesome, almost perfect I would say. But the following song AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ sort of turned me off. Not that their version isn’t good, it’s great, but out of all the classic Bon Scott era AC/DC songs they could have covered, they chose the most over played and radio killed song out there. From what I understand, I guess vocalist Joey Belladonna really wanted to do that song, and he does a great job, which is not something I can say for every song on here. But right after ‘TNT’, they redeem themselves with Boston’s ‘Smokin” which is well, smokin’. Seriously it’s awesome, check it out some time.
For the next two songs, we get a Journey and Cheap Trick song, which are kind of iffy to me. I like their version of the Journey song ‘Keep on Runnin’ though it doesn’t really fit their sound. Musically it’s good, but vocally it’s a little bit out of Joey’s current range, which ain’t what it used to be. The Cheap Trick song ‘Big Eye’s’ I really have nothing nice to say about. I don’t care for the original version, and Anthrax doesn’t do much to improve it for me.
The final cover of this short EP is Thin Lizzy’s ‘Jail Break’, which is good at times, and not so great at others. Again, this song has been totally killed by classic rock radio for me, so I don’t think I would have chosen this song to record and release. Thin Lizzy has so many other great songs, I think they could have picked something a bit more rockin’ and obscure to do instead. But they by no means kill it in the negative sense; their version is quite good, I’m just sick of the song itself.”
There are also a couple versions of the song ‘Crawling’ from the ‘Worship Music’ record. That song is what it is. It’s not the best song from that album, and I’m not sure why they would choose to include it with a remix version on this disc. But they did. I guess because it’s probably the most radio friendly song from that album cycle. In a way that makes sense, but not really.
And that’s it for this CD. I thought about perhaps maybe doing an Anthrax overview as part of this review. But someone I haven’t seen in 6 months just walked in the door, so I’m just going wrap this up and hang out with my friend. I might do that overview later.
(Random fact, ‘Anthems’ was released 4 years ago today.)