Treading the Missed Mondays: Just A Splash of Leather Pants

BEGRUDGING SUNRISE, PIT-SPAWN!

It’s the first Monday of the month, and you know what that means. It’s the Monday where I make a playlist mostly formed to get me from A to B. Talkin’ ’bout my favourite genre from the ages of 16 – 19, straight THRASH.

Let me set the scene for ya.

Poor florescent light shimmering down upon a loooong battered and beaten bar. The bartender has on a headband with lightning bolts and a cut-off denim vest despite it being 45 degrees in the place. From the far side of the room resonates the faded vibrancy of a once legendary arcade cabinet, complete with condensation stains from when someone was going for the highscore and couldn’t even break eye contact to blink, let alone drink his 4% beer. As an old “Whiskey Time” clock ticks away on the wall, the seconds fall into hours, and night descends upon the lands. One by one, leather-clad vixens and vultures spill through the wide double doors eager to spend the day’s pay on what and whomever they fancied. Then, as if life sucks from the room, the house lights drop and a lone spot light hits the barely-raised stage, and the curtains pull away revealing what could easily be mistake for a militia armed with instruments. Tattered fabric swatches, 7 bullet belts, and ready to spit acid; These where the thrash bands of the 80’s and early 90’s.

So let’s throw down some facts real quick:

– The thrash band you play in probably isn’t that good.

– Your buddy’s thrash band probably isn’t that good.

– My thrash band was OKAY at best. One time I overhead someone describe us as “They’re kinda like Venom, if Venom. . .Well. . .Actually, their just Venom.” So that was sweet.

– There ARE sub-genre’s to thrash, and it’s wise to just think of the base genre as cream cheese, ’cause there are many different little avenues to traverse.

– Mexico & South America hold it the fuck down when it comes to metal as a whole. Don’t disregard something just because you don’t speak the language.

Covering some ground of said playlist, I will likely only be hitting you with two out of the “Big 4”. The “Big 4” consists of Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer, the iconic thrash Titans of their time, some of which are now fallen trash bags with no drive to put out an album with content. The most recent Slayer album “Repentless” actually hauls quite hard, and Tom Arya is becoming exactly who I want to be as an old man. Kicking off my mentions before I leave you to your own devices, this is a real pounder, thanks to a band that continues to stick to the definitive speed and power that Thrash really is; I give you Havok.

Apparent right from the Ed Repka cover art to the clear cymbal bell hit breaks, Havok is very much tight AF. This song comes from their 2011 release “Time Is Up” which as a whole was absolutely shocking to me when I first heard it, because it carried qualities of an era I thought lost forever. Hardened thrash sentry’s who deserve copious amounts of love, go listen to their stuff.

Box numero the second. There are WAAAAAAAAY more “bad” thrash bands then their are “good” ones, because in some derelict parts of the world recording everything you own on an eight track with your whole band in your parents shower (where you were probably conceived), is thought of not only as favourable, but encouraged. Like black metal bands who process their music post recording, you are fake and gay. Ironically, prior to many thrash band creating a blacker take on the genre before any of the big for was A.O.D (Altars Of Destruction). This is a re-recording of a song from their ’89 EP “Painfully Awakening”.

Thicker than your average thrashers at the time, A.O.D. remains another forgotten cobblestone in the road that has created such a once potent genre.

Uno more mass.

Once upon a time, even I, great guru of the things that I am, didn’t know jack snap about music, and it took me LITERALLY studying book after book, reading testimonial after testimonial about people talking to these amazing artists, to really understand that it isn’t all just genre’s and sub-genre’s. There is feeling. Even the most pissed off bands are usually trying to say one consistent message, be it Megadeth talking about corrupt government, or Slayer talking about respect, it’s not hard to see how this is a constructive outlet, one that much akin to death metal, may draw from both fact and fiction. . .Or movies directed by David Cronenburg, or about The Governator, and with that I give you; Dr. Living Dead.

Enjoy your week, grubs.

– Bear

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