Let’s face it: Anvil are the Wile E. Coyote of rock (look him up kids). Unreletenting, they release albums after albums hoping to catch their break. They’re a little goofy at time, but it’s part of their charm, and you have to admire they determination and commitment to what they believe. Still riding the wave of the 2008 documentary “The Story of Anvil”, Anvil turned to crowd funding on Pledge Music to finance they latest opus “Anvil is Anvil”.
Right there, the title says it all: It’s Anvil being true to themselves, just as they’ve been since they release “Hard ‘n’ Heavy” in 1981. It’s full of big riffs, dodgy lyrics and great musicianship. The usual recipe works pretty well this time, and the material is some of they best ever. They stumble right out of the gate with the opener “Daggers & Rum”, a pirate-themed track that would have worked better if they’d played it tongue-in-cheek instead of seemingly being dead serious about it. But it’s followed by “Up Down Sideways” with a killer riff and chorus that make up a great metal song. Drummer Robb Reiner (who also painted the cover) is in fine form, especially on “Runaway Train” a track that sounds just like its title because of his playing. Lyrically it’s as hackneyed as ever, and I don’t think Lips singing about gun control will get anyone to turn in their NRA card, but it’s par for the course.
There isn’t really a dud on the album, apart from the first track (and it’s not that bad) and it sounds great too. It’s 100% Anvil through and through, so if you’ve ever banged your head to one of their tracks, you’ll like this release. If you like your metal a little stuck in the 80’s, this is for you too. Anvil is Anvil: what else did you expect?
He's also a regular contributor at the excellent news site Montreal Rampage