Way back in prehistoric times there was a war. Growing up in South Wales I saw active service; Oh yes I did! It was a conflict that split brothers, alienated friends and probably once led to harsh words on the dance floor at Cinderella’s. if you we’re young enough and had the inclination to join up then you just had to do your duty. Glam vs. Thrash.
I signed up without any reservations. Confident that history would one day applaud my choice as the only one a sensible man could make. I chose glam, I chose wearing a girlie scarf around my wrist, I chose Faster Pussycat, I chose sleaze, I chose Vain, I chose pretending to be from Hollywood (not Haverfordwest), I chose Poison, I chose wearing eyeliner once in the Riviera Club in Carmarthen!, I chose Bang Tango, I chose secure in the knowledge that our slinky shock troops would drive those oily thrashers into the ocean (or Cardigan Bay). I knew that one day Taime Downe and Brent Muscat would become musical spokesmen for our generation. I chose wrong.
Anyway, when I went off to the big city my mate Ads forced me to borrow his taped copy of Kill ’em All, I resisted for all of 4 minutes before selling my former allegiance out for ever. ‘Whiplash’ did it for me the and still does – I once narrowly missed out on a fractured ankle listening to it discovering that running on a treadmill and headbanging are not compatible activities.
I’d not listened to this for ages, secure in the knowledge that it was my fave Metallica LP by far. It still is, just the raw, adolescent adrenalin of it all wins out over their more technical stuff every time for me. Especially when you compare it to their dog days of ‘Loaded’ etc; even a lesser cut like ‘Metal Millitia’ trounces 85% of the rest of their catalogue. I love the way that their ambitions and their limitations collide and stretch here, you get a sense it just makes them play even faster, trying to outrun the fact they can’t quite get it down the way they want to, the fact that they will probably never get a chance to make another LP – they got better, they got bigger, made some amazing songs but this LP just got me.
They even foresaw my glam defection, I mean how can you argue with:
The leathered armies have prevailed
The phantom lord has never failed
Smoke is lifting from the ground
The rising volume metal sound
Although I did only buy this on vinyl 10 years ago , frantically catching up with stuf I feel I should own but never got around to buying on vinyl (I do that a lot – am I fortifying and solidifying my own past?), so maybe that makes me some kind of regretful glam quisling?