Napalm Death

Napalm Death

Bootlegged in Japan

Earache

To really appreciate Napalm Death, you have to see them live, during the summer, in a poorly-air conditioned hall in Orlando, Florida. I caught them back in, when was it? 1991, and Barney, with his back to the audience, was wailing away to “Multi National Corporations” or something like that, and his shorts fell down and there he was, screaming a song in his underwear. Great vibe, folks.

Napalm Death, while perhaps the seminal British death metal band, are what I call “political.” That is, they’re not singing about Satan or devil worship. No, they have more in common with Joan Baez or Phil Ochs than, say, Blood Feast. This takes people by surprise, because Napalm Death are serious about social reform. Not that they can do much more than sing about the plight of the poor and the exploitation of the working classes in songs like “Greed Killing,” “Suffer the Children,” “Mass Appeal Madness,” “From Enslavement to Obliteration,” and “Glimpse Into Genocide.”

For serious Napalm Death, fans this is a must: the band found a bootleg from a 1996 Tokyo show and decided it was good enough to burn onto CD. They were right! There’s excellent Brief Barney Banter (I didn’t hear him say “cheers!” though), and they cover Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.”

Earache America, 295 Lafayette St, Suite 915, New York, NY 10012-2700; http://www.earache.com

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