SOUNDTRACK: METALLICA-Kill ‘Em All (1983).
Although I don’t think I remember exactly when this disc came out, I was pretty big into heavy metal (the heavier the better) back in 1983. I can remember this was my freshman year of high school, and I’m fairly certain I bought this LP pretty soon after it came out (thanks to the awesome radio show mu-mu-mu-mu-mu-metal shop).
Kill ‘Em All has always been a touchstone for thrash metal. And listening to it now, it’s hard to believe that the Metallica of 2010 is the same band. Or, more to the point that this bunch of kids would have grown into this same bunch of adults.
Kill ‘Em All is raw. Really raw. And yet it sounds (even at this stage) well mixed and very professional (no mean feat given the rather silly cover art). The guitars, even though the distortion is cranked up, do not sound muddy. The vocals are mixed perfectly so you can actually understand (most of) the growly lyrics (this is before James Hetfield learned how to sing). The drums are really fast (possibly one of the fastest bpm at the time). And of course, Cliff Burton kept wonderful rhythm while Kirk Hammett was soloing all over the place. And while “Anesthesia–Pulling Teeth” is kind of a silly addition on a thrash album, it does showcase Cliff’s bass work.
The amazing thing is that this twenty-seven year old album still sounds relevant in the metal world. And no doubt it will continue to influence young metal bands in the future. And for a fantastic review of this disc (and an awesome selection of best-of-1983 releases), check out wallnernotweller. This is what my site would look like if it were only about music.
[READ: April 22, 2010] “Edgemont Drive”
I haven’t read much E.L. Doctorow, but I’ve liked what I read. And it was nice to read someone who writes so differently from the kind of things I’ve been reading lately (Bolaño etc). It was especially nice because I was fairly certain where I the story was going to go and it didn’t go anywhere near where I expected.
The story opens with a discussion of a car. The husband believes it to be a Ford Falcon. The wife is less concerned about the car than the occupant: a man parked in front of their house and leering at her while she was gardening. The husband, intent on defending his wife plans to tell the guy to get lost if he ever parks there again. Which, of course, he does, and then, he does.
But then the wife talks to him. And the man reveals that he’s not leering at her. Rather, he used to live in their house and he has been building up the courage to ask her if she would let him in to see the house. Which she does. I was pretty sure I knew the rest of the story from here. But I’m delighted that I didn’t.
In fact, the direction was wonderful. Dark, certainly, but wonderful for sure. And the ending cleverly tied the story’s multiple parts together. Doctorow is a pretty great writer, and this seemingly simple story really showcases that.