Calling Toronto, Ontario as home, Canadian heavy metal/thrash/speed icons Anvil are once again proving “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The band’s 17th full-length studio output, Pounding the Pavement, is out January 19th, 2018 on Steamhammer/SPV. A total staple on the heavy metal landscape, Anvil are almost like the fly you can’t shoo away. Like the rash after spending the night with a questionable partner. Never with much fanfare, they just keep issuing new albums every couple of years. The Canadian trio has taken a page from the AC/DC songbook and basically been releasing the same album for 30 years. Hey, don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad thing if you ask me.
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 17th studio effort sees bassist Chris Robertson in the fold for his second recording with the band after replacing Sal Italiano in 2014.
ANVIL – Pounding the Pavement (Album Review)
The name of an Anvil album says it all. Some bands try to have an artsy or intellectual name for their album. Not Anvil. With recent releases being titled Juggernaut of Justice, Hope in Hell, Anvil is Anvil, and now Pounding the Pavement they just sound heavy. Like an anvil crashing down on the Coyote‘s latest Roadrunner trap supplied by Acme.
I’m immediately satisfied with the opening cut “Bitch in the Box”. The trademark heavy riffing and pounding rhythm overlaid by Kudlow‘s raw and gruff vocals are a fantastic combo. Instantly recognizable as Anvil, heavy, simple and catchy. I listened to this track no less than four times before moving forward. Following is “Ego”, the advance lyric single, another typical Anvil pounder. You can check it out through the video below.
“Doing What I Want” could certainly be autobiographical as basically Anvil just does what they want musically. Throughout Pounding the Pavement cuts like “Smash Your Face”, “Pounding the Pavement”, “Rock That Shit”, “Let It Go” are all total smashers. The real gem here though is “Nanook of the North”. It’s has a swaggering groove to it. An infectious, easy to sing along chorus. Absolutely love it and who can beat the subject matter?
Final thoughts on Anvil – Pounding the Pavement
Perhaps many don’t take Anvil seriously. A bit of a novelty band ala Spinal Tap, I’ve heard many say. Certainly, their often cheesy lyrics can easily be made fun of. For many, like myself, it’s part of their charm. They have been Pounding the Pavement their entire existence. Long Live Anvil!
Bottom line, if you didn’t really enjoy Anvil before, I don’t think this album will change that. For those that do, this is another blasting Anvil album to headbang to.
“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”……….well, that and Anvil Is Anvil. In case you missed it, here’s my review of their previous release: Anvil is Anvil (Album Review)