“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”……….well, that and Anvil Is Anvil.
Well, Canadian heavy metal/thrash/speed icons Anvil are proving “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” with their 16th full-length album, Anvil Is Anvil. Hailing from Toronto, Ontario the original version of the renowned band saw Steve “Lips” Kudlow (vocals, guitar), Robb Reiner (drums), Dave Allison (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Ian Dickson (bass) forming in the late 70’s. Today Kudlow and Reiner are still together, enjoying a resurgence of popularity in recent years thanks at least in part to the 2008 documentary film Anvil! The Story of Anvil which showcased the band’s antics on and off stage, the setbacks they suffered, and their determination to keep going in the business. This 16th studio effort sees bassist Chris Robertson in the fold for his first recording with the band after replacing Sal Italiano in 2014.
Anvil Is Anvil, produced by Martin Pfeiffer, gets off to a blistering Anvil-ish start with “Daggers and Rum”. The lyrical subject matter, as you may imagine from the title, concerns pirates and simply reminds me of the rock and roll pirate himself, KiLLeR DwaRfS‘ drummer Darrell “DWaRf” Millar. I say, if Hollywood insists on making yet another Pirates of the Caribbean film, this definitely needs to be on the soundtrack! Apparently the band invited some of their fans into the studio during recording to join in the choir for this track, very cool! Anvil is Anvil continues from there, sticking to the Anvil formula and sound that’s been well established through the past. While the whole album plays well for me there are other standout cuts of course, such as the politically charged “Gun Control”, the stomping “Runaway Train”, “Fire on the Highway” and my top pick for the collection, “Ambushed”. “Ambushed” is retro, yet fresh somehow and grooves along perfectly for an energy charged fist pumper….perhaps this one should go into the gym workout playlist sooner rather than later!
Throughout the years, Anvil have created a handful of tracks that will always stick with me such as 2011’s “Juggernaut of Justice”, 1987’s “Mad Dog” (mostly thanks to video play on MuchMusic) and perhaps the crowning glory 1997’s “Show Me Your Tits”. This upcoming album has now thrown “Daggers and Rum” and “Ambushed” into that mix.
“We’re sometimes criticised for never changing,” guitarist and vocalist Lips explains. “But why should we change something we’re renowned for? Isn’t it much more important to stay faithful to yourself? To do what you do best? The idea behind our latest album is: we are what we are, and that’s how it’s going to stay!”
Anvil is Anvil is the title of their 16th album and it’s exactly as it says, Anvil. If you are already familiar with and/or enjoy the brand of music that these Canucks supply, then this will be another fine addition. There’s nothing new here really. It sounds basically like any other Anvil record….I happen to think that’s a good thing!
In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes and Anvil Is Anvil.