Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Anvil - Pounding The Pavement (2018)

I gotta be honest, I was very unsure if this was an Anvil album that I was witnessing. It certainly sounded like an Anvil record, and the logo was on full display on that brilliant album cover, but it did miss something that literally defines the band, THE anvil. I could not find it for the life of me, so I started to wonder if they compensated for having two anvils in their last album "Anvil Is Anvil" (both in title and cover). Finally I found it, somewhere among that thick smoke, fully confirming a fact that was already confirmed by logo and music (I really need a new pair of glasses... and maybe a new brain while I am at it).

So now that that is settled out, I can confidently tell you that Anvil's 17th outing is simply another classic Anvil release, an album you would expect from these Canadian legends. It is yet another record filled to the brim with catchy choruses and good, fun heavy metal for the entire family. The band does what they do best, and they really do not bullshit around that fact, delivering an album that we have practically already heard, but still wanna hear.

So what are the topics these guys tackle this time around? Well they open up the album... with a song about GPS. Yes, "Bitch In A Box" is all about that little device I thought the rest of the world had ditched in favour for the Google Maps app. But that is the charm with Anvil, they can sing about anything, and still get a good chuckle out of you (even if the song is a little too slow for my taste). Further down the song list we find "Nanook of The North", which is actually a song about the native Canadians and their history. A neat little song that opens with classic Nanookian... beat singing? I do not know what it is called, but it is a really nice touch from the band. So they really go high and low in the lyrics, nothing surprising, but welcome none the least.

Musically speaking though, it is all over the place. Some song have a great drive, almost like the guys winded back the clock to their hey days, like the adrenaline pumping tracks "Ego", "Warming Up", and "Black Smoke". Kudlow's guitar play is especially impressive, dominating with several kick ass solos, and even a title track that is fully instrumental. Best of all though, is that the band seem to still enjoying themselves, even if they really are "Pounding The Pavement".

But as said, this album is pretty uneven, taking quite a few dips throughout its run time. Most of the time, it is just the fact that the songs are boring and predictable, not adding anything special to the album itself. There are also a couple of really weird ones out there, like the incredibly cheesy 70's rock opus "Rock That Shit", which simply just does not fit in at all, or "Smash Your Face", a song that is very slow and tries to be heavy, but I do not feel any smashing here at all, which just sucks. I still think there are more good and interesting stuff here than bad, but the bad bits do take over more than I like to admit.

No matter what I say though, it is quite clear what your own opinion of "Pounding The Pavement" will be, even without hearing the album. Because if you have heard of any Anvil music before, you know exactly what you are going to get, and that you either love it or hate it. The Canadians does what is expected of them, and that is admirable in its own little charming way, and as long as they still can find joy in what they are doing, I am satisfied whenever a new album hits the market. So the title is very fitting, the band keeps on pounding that pavement, and they do a mighty fine job doing so.

Songs worthy of recognition: Black Smoke, What I Want, Warming Up

Rating: 6/10 Nanooks of the North

More reviews of Anvil
Anvil Is Anvil

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