Anthrax/ Anthems (Megaforce, 2013)
This 8 track EP comes out as Anthrax is cycling through the final leg of their Worship Music tour. These songs were originally intended to be released as a deluxe edition reissue of said album last fall but the band thankfully scuttled those plans in favor of this release. Asking fans to purchase an album they already own to get extra songs has always been a chicken shit thing to do. Props to Anthrax for doing the right thing.
Anthrax doesn't go too far off the beaten path with these covers. Anthem is a tad slower than Rush's version. Joey Belladonna sings great on that one, with his vocals being easier to understand than Geddy Lee's shrieks. There are a few lines that I finally understood after all of these years. TNT is a standard, and many people are criticizing that the band chose such a familiar song to cover. Avoiding singles and anything popular in Heavy Metal has become such a cliché that it is actually more Metal to play a staple in my opinion.
As a Metal kid in the '80s I was never much of a Boston or Journey fan. Joey sounds great on these songs, though. I am so glad that he is back in the band. Big Eyes is a great song, and like all of the tunes here is done pretty straightforward. Cheap Trick had some heavy riffs. I've always thought that Baby Loves To Rock would make a kickass Thrash song. Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy is a jam, and Anthrax's version is good. The original version's riff seemed to have more of a bite to it, but this is a decent take.
Crawl, off of 2011's Worship Music, is included here as well. Twice. First we get the album version. Crawl (Remix) is interesting but unnecessary. It sounds more modern than the original, with keyboards and sampled sounds, more like Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson than Anthrax. In any case, this is a solid, entertaining snack to tide us over until the next proper Anthrax album.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- I bought this on CD. The cardboard slipcase is diecut on the “Thraxagram”, revealing a portion of the Jailbreak homage drawing underneath. All of the homage art that has been posted on Facebook over the past few weeks appears on the inlay tray picture behind the hub. The inside flap of the digipak has band notes and credits. This is a pretty nice package overall.