Music Of Mass Destruction
This DVD/CD set features the current five-piece version of the Anthrax lineup — one or two members having come and gone over the years. And from where I was sitting, not a disinterested viewer but hardly a longtime fanatic either, they put on a hell of a show. Trying to touch on as many parts of the band’s 20-year plus career as possible, they hit classics like “Caught In A Mosh” and more moderns like “What Doesn’t Die” and “Refuse To Be Denied.” One suspects they’re aware of the irony of thousands of people coming together to chant about how “Antisocial” they are, but the song’s still kind of fun. “Inside Out” isn’t much of a song, but quick, name me another metal band willing to admit from the stage that they wrote something about the importance of loving oneself? Or sing as stiltedly PC a song as “Indians?”
For me — far from being a metalhead — Anthrax has always been a band that stood out from the rest both because of their willingness to break new ground with their sound and their sense of humor about themselves. “Bring the Noise” and “I’m the Man” were the harbingers of metal/rap fusion; Anthrax can really claim to have been there before anybody else. Plus they cover Joe Jackson. Can’t be bad. Not forgetting the cool way they dealt with the PR nightmare of having their name associated with very real, rather than mostly theoretical, destruction: They issued a tongue-in-cheek announcement they were changing their name to “A Basket Full Of Puppies.” And any band who appears on not one but two of the great sitcoms of the past 15-20 years (Married…with Children and NewsRadio) is a band I gotta give props.
What I want to say is that Anthrax is a band that metal fans already know well, and their fans will almost certainly already have picked up this DVD/CD. But even if you’re neither of those, you might want to check this out anyway. Although, it probably is gonna reach into your record collection and break your Avril Lavigne CDs or somethin’.
DVD extras include a visit by Charlie Benante (he of the double bass drum pedal explosions) to the toymakers and an endearingly geeky visit with fanboy god Alex Ross, who drew the cover for both this and the last Anthrax release.