If I asked you to listen to a song called 100 Beers with A Zombie from a band called Pasadena Napalm Division what would you think? You would probably think it’s silly and take it with a grain of salt, but listen anyway. Would it change things a bit if I told you former DRI vocalist Kurt Brecht was fronting the band? I bet it would. Now take them seriously! Out of Texas, comes Pasadena Napalm Division with their Hardcore Punk, and primarily Thrash concoction very much worth taking note, especially for fans of DRI during their Thrash Zone and 4 of a Kind days.
Have you ever seen a movie where bad guys are torturing someone in a house or garage while loud music is playing in the background? I couldn’t tell you the name of one, but I have seen it in several movies. Well, if that were me doing the dirty work, Mortar is the band I think I would choose to drown out the deathly screams of the unfortunate torture candidate. Their EP is called Ground Zero and is 18 minutes of punishing, raw, uncompromising, and unadulterated brutality. Even their cover of Hell Bent for Leather is no less harsh.
The EP is a quick listen and the lacking production value gives the overall feel of that analog early 80s recording practice. It kind of reminds me of very early Slayer. Ground Zero is so raw it almost seems over-the-top intentional, but the very nature of the album and its unrefined quality imply that with the right equipment and funds to record a proper album, Mortar could be a contender.
I can always appreciate an album of cover songs from my long-time favorite bands. Anthrax, though not necessarily known for recording that many covers, does do them well when they get around to it. You may remember a few cover songs off that eclectic album Attack of the Killer B’s released in 1991. It has the popular Metal/Rap collaboration Bring the Noise and a newer version of I’m The Man. Contained therein is also a Kiss cover (Parasite) and even a couple S.O.D. covers (Ode to Billy and Chromatic Death) which, ironically, members of Anthrax are part of. Other than Antisocial, Anthrax has kept their recording of covers to a minimum compared to some other Metallica bands. Now, we have the EP Anthems to satisfy our craving for metal cover songs. Here is the breakdown.