Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vio-lence "Bodies on Bodies" (Dylan's Dumb iPod #10)

Vio-lence gets seriously overlooked in the scheme of thrash metal. I guess it comes from arriving "late" (1986?) to the party and for essentially being second/third tier carbon clones (competent ones mind you) without much to distinguish themselves. Then again, I don't get the impression that they were trying to start a thrash revolution. I think they just wanted to mosh...and I'll never NOT get excited about jocks who sing in falsetto and play thrash metal in swimming trunks. Regardless of historical oversights, Eternal Nightmare (1988 debut), is full of stellar moments ("Kill on Command" and "Serial Killer" immediately come to mind...along with an album cover that features a dude falling into a toothy Sarlacc pit) replete with the Cap'n crunchiest of guitar production and Sean Killian's charmingly clumsy screeching, it might be one of the last gasps of thrash freshness before the genre wheezed out in the nineties. See, 'Lence (just why in the hell did they hyphenate their name?) took the route of raw aggression (a'la Exodus) instead of getting bogged down in technicality (a'la Death Angel), enthusiastically waving the flag of bay-area thrash. 

Vagina Dentata
Sweet beach shirt brah
 Eternal Nightmare's biggest shortcoming tends to be Killian's vocals. The dude doesn't have much range, he sounds like a damn muppet bird and he tends to stumble over his lyrics...but the limited abilities give everything a ragged soul (Paul Baloff anyone?) that's endearing to me. Also, it comes off a lil' "samey" as every single song is about death (I know, I know), but it doesn't really detract from the aural experience."Bodies on Bodies" keeps the "songs about people killing people" theme of the album sporting vocal gems like "laughing at you loudly as you die/your wounds bleed profusely as you die" and "Come with me child, I'll do you no harm/as I violently am clenching her arm." Oof. I do like the part about "a gasoline injection into the vein." Creepy! I bet Dylan Klebold's journal read much the same way. 
Baloff playing a mic stand
The song's most triumphant high points are the throaty call-and-response gang vocals ("KILLING! HE JUST KEEPS KILLING!/BLEEDING THEY JUST KEEP BLEEDING!") A'la Anthrax, S.O.D and a host of other NYHC bands. Also the circle-pit part rules and the drumming is top notch.Ultimately, a great song that's freely indicative of the rest of the album. Hordes of metalheads swear by this album, and it's absolutely crucial, if for nothing more than presenting an exuberant embodiment of Bay Area Thrash.
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