Fireworks

Anvil - 'Strength Of Steel' / 'Pound For Pound' / 'Worth The Weight' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/fa/f9/33/2355_anvilstrengthofsteel_1339870929.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 16, 2012    
 
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Re-issues of three Anvil albums.

Things were not well in the Anvil camp as they set to work on their fourth studio album ‘Strength Of Steel’ in 1986. Their record deal with Attic was gone. Their big time management contract with David Krebs had soured and with it went any chance of a major label deal. It also found the band divided on what musical direction to pursue. Drummer Robb Reiner and guitarist Dave ‘Squirrely’ Allison favoured a move to a more mainstream hair metal sound whilst lead guitarist and vocalist Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow wanted to stay true to their pioneering speed metal roots. A compromise was reached and Squirrely (so called because of his per chant for showing off his nuts to the ladies!) took control of the production.

And to his and the bands credit they came up with an album that really has stood the test of time. Yes it does have a more mainstream feel and is one of the most commercial sounding albums in the Anvil canon. It benefits from a big, booming 80’s production and to be honest the batting average is pretty high featuring classic cuts like ‘Concrete Jungle’; ‘9-2-5’; ‘Cut Loose’ and ‘Straight Between The Eyes’ (where Lips and Squirrely share lead vocal duties). ‘Strength Of Steel’ was derided as a sell out by critics and hardcore fans alike on its original release on the Metal Blade label in 1987 but it was their only album to date that has dented the Billboard charts in the States so it did find an audience. This was largely on the back of a video that they made for the single ‘Mad Dog’, which was funded by a grant secured from the Canadian government by the ever resourceful Lips. ‘Strength Of Steel’ is by no means a classic but it is one of the most underappreciated albums in their back catalogue and as such is well worth exploring.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The following year the band released ‘Pound For Pound’ which saw them return to more familiar speed metal territory with blistering tracks like ‘Toe Jam’; ‘Safe Sex’ and ‘Machine Gun’ as well as the mid-paced menace of ‘Fire In The Night’. By this time however Squirrely and bassist Ian ‘Dix’ Dickson were beginning to lose interest in the band so Lips and Robb were steering the Anvil ship on their own. Problem was the ship had set course for the relative obscurity of the metal wilderness and there was little they could do to stop it. So I think that’s why the material on this album doesn’t have the same sparkle as its predecessor. To add to its woes ‘Pound For Pound’ doesn’t benefit from the same production values either. It’s definitely a more metal sound but what you’re faced with is a wall of guitars and drums with Lips vocals too far down in the mix. ‘Pound For Pound’ isn’t a bad album, far from it. It restored some credibility with their hardcore following and, considering the turmoil the band was in at the time, it was probably the best they could come up with under the circumstances.

It was to be another four years before Anvil’s next studio album ‘Worth The Weight’ was released in 1992. Those four years had been difficult what with Robb losing his father to cancer and the breakup of Lips’ marriage. They say that pain and suffering brings the best out of an artist. This is certainly true of ‘Worth The Weight’ as they returned with their most consistent set since ‘Metal On Metal’. They were also buoyed by the addition of US based shredder Sebastian Marino who had been brought in as a replacement for Squirrely. For the first and only time in the bands recording history this gave Anvil a dual lead guitar attack and Marino’s schooled approach proved to be a perfect foil to the self taught feel of Lips. The band were back to their speed metal best as they blast through gems like ‘Infanticide’; ‘Bushpig’ and ‘Pow Wow’ with renewed vigour and self belief. ‘Worth The Weight’ was - and still remains - a firm fan favourite and is certainly the pick of these reissues...

Alister Strachan

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Latest Message: 1 week, 6 days ago
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.

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