Anvil – Pound for Pound
Album Review by Adam McCann
Label : SPV/Steamhammer
Year : 1988
Pounding the world
By the late 80’s, Anvil should have been capitalising on their frankly, brilliant albums, however a lacklustre first release on a major label in 1987 with ‘Strength of Steel’ applied unwanted pressure as their peers disappeared off into the sunset. Cue the release of ‘Pound for Pound’ in 1988.
If ‘Strength of Steel’ had been coupled with a disgusting late 80’s sampled drum sound, then ‘Pound for Pound’ was given an almost lo-fi production. Lips is an absolutely fantastic guitarist and sincerely underrated, however, the quagmire of mud splattered onto ‘Pound for Pound’ makes such as weedy guitar sound that you’d be surprised it was there at until under the weight of the bass and double kick drum.
Unfortunately, it is the production that lets the album down, unlike contemporary albums such as ‘The Legacy’ by Testament or ‘So Far, So Good… So What!’ by Megadeth in which their poor production plays into their hands, ‘Pound for Pound’ would benefit from being slightly sharper. However, there are songs here in the shape of ‘Blood on the Ice’ and the superb ‘Corporate Preacher’ which would give even the thrash titans a run for their money.
Although this was a shit time for Anvil, Lips and co have always managed to crack a smile and get on with it. Through less than subtle digs at the record company with ‘Where Does All the Money Go?’ and ‘Brain Burn’ to the tongue in cheek amusement of ‘Safe Sex’ with the line: “give me sleaze and not disease”, who needs sex education in school when you have Anvil?
Shit production aside, ‘Pound for Pound’ is actually quite enjoyable, you get solid heavy metal with Anvil, no frills and gimmicks, just Anvil doing things their own, the way they have always done.
Rating : 74/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann