Anthrax – Anthems EP
Since this is a stopgap all-covers EP I won’t get into a detailed song-by-song analysis. Anthrax has a high bar to pass on this type of release; their Attack Of The Killer B’s EP from 1991 is one of the best covers-type of releases done by a metal band. Despite only six covers, their quality is surprisingly hit or miss. Boston’s “Smokin’” is way at the top with an impressive organ and guitar solo, while “Keep On Runnin’” by Journey featuring amazing vocals by Joey Belladonna. The rendition of Rush’s “Anthem” also has some great singing that apes Geddy Lee, and I love that Anthrax decided to not track rhythm guitars during the solos to keep the feel of a power trio. “Big Eyes” (Cheap Trick) and “Jailbreak” (Thin Lizzy) are adequate, if unremarkable, but the weak chorus of “T.N.T.” by AC/DC makes this the worst of the lot. Rounding the EP out are the album version of Anthrax’s “Crawl” (from their latest album Worship Music) and remixed version with lots of keyboards and strings. My rating of 8 is on the high end of what I was considering, but the great covers of “Smokin’” and “Keep On Runnin’” justify it. At the end of the day, Anthems serves it purpose of being a quality Anthrax release, one that is fun and enjoyable.Anthrax performs Thursday, April 4 at First Avenue in Minneapolis with support from Exodus, High On Fire, Municipal Waste, and Holy Grail.
RELATED CONTENT: Here's some other recent Anthrax-related posts: audio downloads of Anthrax in 1991 on the Clash Of The Titans tour and former Anthrax guitarist Dan Spitz's new band Red Lamb in St. Paul on March 24, 2013, reviews of the Red Lamb album and March 24 concert (with pictures), and, in the From The Vault series, Anthrax, S.O.D., and Armored Saint.