GOODBYE TO ROMANCE; GOODBYE TO PHYSICAL MEDIA: NUMBERS AND A'S

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* - Asterisk means I already had a good mp3 copy of this album, but threw up a few words anyway in the name of having an internet-based chronicle of all my legally-purchased, store-bought music


times - Beavis Having Rad Times means that this CD's purchase was directly or indirectly influenced by the Beavis & Butthead television show

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754 Boyz - In Da Streets (2000, Skinny Boy Productions) - Honestly can't say whether this is good or not, because rap has never been my thing. Not that I have negative feelings toward rap; it's just not my thing, you know? Don't trust anyone who speaks of their musical tastes and immediately throws in "...except rap" or "...except rap and country," because those people are snakes, probably racist snakes, the worst kind. Anyway, this is weird, because the production features ting-tingy hi-hats and cymbals way more than bass, and one of the 37 dudes with verses on this sounds like the old man who kept trying to rape Peter Griffin's son.  But a different dude on here used to work with me at the Kroger in Cleveland, MS, and I barely knew him, but he seemed super-nice, so I bought his CD.

A

The Accüsed - Straight Razor EP (1991 Nastymix)- These guys always ruled in a weird sort of way, where their soinger sounded like the Tasmanian Devil on biker crank, and I was all excited when this popped up for like $1.99 on Metaldisc (RIP) in 1999 or so. Sadly, Grinning Like an Undertaker was out of stock when I tried to order it at the same time, but the nature of the digital music format means nothing is ever actually out-of-print anymore, so progress is actually good sometimes. It's still weird to me that Sir Mixalot signed them to his label. What if Mixalot likes crossover thrash, as well as big butts? Must investigate further.

Alabama Thunderpussy - Rise Again (1998, Man's Ruin - my version is the 2004 Relapse reissue) - These are some severely southern dudes, and the original version of this CD had a decidedly Confederate flavor to the cover art, but this one has it replaced with a washed out/arty picture of a presumably-naked lady. One of the worst parts of the southern experience is when you get older and realize that all the symbols of your local culture are pretty much insanely terrible and have to start covering them up with tasteful, just-out-of-frame nudity.

Alabama Thunderpussy - Constellation (2000, Man's Ruin - Again, my copy is the 2004 reissue) - This is another one in the same "but what if Skynyrd were really into Turbonegro, though?" vein as Rise Again, but honestly probably not as good. Which is not to say it isn't good though, and I have to make that clarification, because people online get really intense with misinterpreting things to be more negative than they are. If I actually had an audience and cared super-strongly about video games newer than 1995, I'd be murdered by now probably. Y'all gotta stop murdering people, you guys.

Alabama Thunderpussy - Open Fire (2007, Relapse) - Man, I really don't know what the general consensus is amongst the Alabama Thunderpussy fandom (fandom, Jesus, talking about them like they're One Direction or something) about this record, but holy crap, this was my jam when it came out. Of course, it's got Kyle Thomas singing, and he's been my dude ever since Bobby Paranoize hooked me up with dubbed tapes of Exhorder's albums, (and the Flood gate one) leading to years of me being an annoying little shit to online Pantera fans. But I dunno if he's considered this band's Blaze Bayley or whatever and I'm an Oklahoma Thunderposer, but this is my favorite thing these dudes did, and someday, I need to hunt down that Pitts vs. Preps CD.

Alice Cooper - Killer (1971, Warner Bros.) - Back when this was made, murder and death and scary crap were relatively unheard of in widely-distributed musical recordings, but this thing is called Killer, and it's got a song called "Dead Babies" that's actually about dead babies, and whose chorus is built around Alice going "DEEEEAAAAD BAAAAYYYBAYYYYYYYYYYYS" in full effect. I really don't think the modern world gives Alice Cooper enough credit for righteously rustling the jimmies of Disco Americans. Those jimmies were hella-rustled, you guys.

Alice Cooper - School's Out (1972, Warner Bros.) - I'm pretty sure that there was a period of at least five to seven years of my life where I would spend my time in late May knowing that school really was almost out for summer, and I would imagine this song magically playing throughout the world when the bell went off. The problem was that I was ten years old or whatever and had never heard the song in full before, so all it would be was just the chorus part that got played on some Time Life 70s Music compilation commercial. Kids are always blathering on about things they don't understand, so you shouldn't listen to them. Maybe if I had studied for my last round of 9-Weeks Tests instead of thinking about The Rock and Roll, I wouldn't be sitting here typing weird bullshit for all you losers. I didn't mean that. I'm sorry, I love you all.

Alice Cooper - Trash (1989, Epic) - Oh man. This is the Alice Cooper record of my youth, on account of my older brother having the cassette back in the day. It's weird to compare the albums from when just the band was actually named Alice Cooper to the later ones where the actual dude gave up (like Hootie refused to do) and took on the name himself, because he's in full huge 80s hair-ish metal territory here. Very strong memories of "Poison" playing while me and my brother played a game where he would take this heavy basketball thing that he got at a county fair (which had once been plush but had since been reduced to a hard-ass beanbag-like consistency) and hurl it at my head with all his strength. My role in the game was to mostly just get hurt, which is the role of all little brothers in situations like that, I guess.

Alice Cooper - Hey Stoopid (1991, Epic) - I'll be honest with you: Neither me nor any of the surrounding people ever got this when it came out, and when my wife got it a few years ago, it came in a three-pack with Trash and The Last Temptation, and I don't think I've ever listened to this in full. I, uhhh. Huh. It's got "Feed My Frankenstein" on it, and that sure is a song, right? Frankensteins have gotta eat, that's what I've always said. So, uhhh. Gotta feed them suckers. Hungry little buggers. Okay, the CD is done ripping, and I can stop typing now.

Alice Cooper - The Last Temptation (1994, Epic) - When this came out, commercials for it seemed to play non-stop both during Beavis and Butthead and WWF Monday Night Raw, and years later in high school, my dude Matt had a similar experience of having "Lost in America" burned into his brain by the television, so we'd ride to school in his truck that had no working tape player and crack jokes about how we shouldn't go to school because we didn't have guns, and how we needed to find girls with both guns and cars. Even after we resorted to just sitting a boombox in the passenger's lap, we never actually played this, because I'm pretty sure he eventually got the CD, but the boombox only played tapes, and that's Hard Times, daddy.

Alice in Chains - Facelift (1990, Columbia) - Oh man, everything good in the world came out in 1990, and this was a major hit in the early 90s Dungeons & Dragons experiences, because even with my brother's habit of just putting in a tape and hitting rewind and playing one song over and over and over and over, (and it was his room, his game, his stereo, his tape, and he was the D.M.) you could let this one go for all of side A. And then there was that time when Tommy Dreamer would come out to "Man in the Box" in ECW, and he could just never defeat Raven, like ever, and then he finally did, and you were just so happy, even though you had known it was all fake for years, even if the slow kid in P.E. class said he thought it was real, and it was the same guy who's cousin's uncle's nephew's son-in-law knew for a fact that Yokozuna was going to be on Monday Nitro this week.

Alice in Chains - Sap EP (1992 Columbia, my copy is the 1995 reissue) - Man, I barely remember anything about this, aside from how "Got Me Wrong" is on the Clerks soundtrack, and that was still the best movie ever when I was fourteen, and ah, shit, limiting myself to typing during the rip time is crazy with an EP, because they're done in five seconds, aaaaahhhhh.

Alice in Chains - Dirt (1992, Columbia) - Oh man, this is pretty much eternally one of the best CDs anyone ever put out, and I love it forever, and upon actually getting a CD player, it was one of the first CDs I bought from an actual store, after the original eleven I got for $3 apiece when my cousin Patrick accepted the love of our Lord and Savior (Jesus Christ) and gave up all his devil music. Also, one time, I got bored in the car and made up a Weird Al version of "down in a Hole" about being a huge fatass called "Donut Holes," and someday, I'll remember all the lyrics. Something like "IIII'D LIKE TO DDDIIIIIEEET, BUT MY WINGS HAVE BEEN SLOOOWLY FRIIIIIIIIEEEDDD." Something is wrong with me, and you are all witnesses to it.

Alice in Chains - Jar of Flies EP (1993, Columbia) - This has that one kinda weird and creepy sounding instrumental track on it, and one time we played it and our cat Doug (R.I.P. 1989-2002) was just freaked smooth the hell out by it, like beyond a normal cat freakout. His eyes got all dilated, and he would attack us if we tried to touch him, and his tail was all twitchy, and we thought devils had possessed him, which would have been pretty sweet.

Alice in Chains - Alice in Chains (1995, Columbia) -I mostly remember this as the first Alice in Chains that I really wasn't all that much into, but looking at it now, I think it's matter of them regressing into a "well there's three hit singles and the rest is kinda there" standard album format band. The lesson here is that more groups should do EPs. They're cheaper, and you don't end up with that "five good songs and five garbage" ratio that turns what could have been e legendary EP into a shitty album. Also that three-legged dog on the cover looks so sad and I want to hug him forever.

Alice in Chains - MTV Unplugged (1996, Columbia) -Is it bad that I never really liked this? I mean, I'm sure that in 1998, it was some childish, "grr this ain't metal" stuff, but something about Layne Staley's vocals on this bug me. Like he hash thish kinda mush mouthed shound like his teeth are falling out, and I'm pretty sure he was already leaving Las Vegas at this point, to the extent that it was starting to affect his work. Also, it's kinda bringing back sad memories of the last couple Motörhead albums where Lemmy sounded like Droopy the Dog. Anyway, the little drum intro on "No Excuses is still the best, at least.

Alice in Chains - Music Bank 3CD/1CD-ROM Box Set (1999, Columbia) -I'm tired and lazy, so I'm not going to go through all three disks of this, because it's a whole lot of stuff. But it's a mix of demos, rare/unreleased stuff, compilation tracks, a little bit of "best of" action here and there, plus a CD-ROM that doesn't work on modern computers. What's weird about the CD-ROM is that this came out in 99, but everything on it seems to pertain to the first two albums and EP, meaning it kinda cuts off at 1992. Like they had planned a really super-special $100 version of Dirt for your one friend who could afford a Windows 3.1 computer, but the world wasn't ready for it yet. A fun part is a few demos on the first disk that are the band's original hair metal roots on full display, which is the sort of thing bands like this usually tried to bury a deep as possible, but AiC had *integrity* so here they are. The best part of all of this is that I'm pretty sure that this thing was like $50+ when it came out, and looking on Amazon just now, even the digital, non-physical copy version is still $30, and I got this thing used for like $8.99. Ha ha, suckers always buying things new. Fuck capitalism. Anyway, the same sad dog from the self-titled CD is on the cover of Disk 3 of this, and he looks super-happy this time around.

*Alice in Chains - Black Gives Way to Blue (2009, Virgin) - Hey, Alice in Chains is back! And they're... Not as good. Overall, it's not bad or anything, but sometimes, you can't go home, and the new guy is trying way too hard to sound like Layne Staley, and the songs where he doesn't do that show that his own voice is fine and that he didn't need to do that. Oh well, maybe they did better on that one I never checked out that had a Triceratops on the cover.

*Amon Amarth - Surtur Rising (2011, Metal Blade) - It's weird, but in general, I am just not a death metal dude. Like you could play a Cannibal Corpse record from front to back, and if I didn't fall asleep, I'd be confused as to why they put out an album with but a single 45-minute song, as opposed to lots of little ones. But I dunno, if you just drop the throttle back a little, have the singer actually form distinct, intelligible words, and add a bunch of shit about Vikings and Odin, and I'm there, dude. I'm there. Also, even if this sucked, the cover alone would make this worthwhile.

*Amon Amarth - Deceiver of the Gods (2013, Metal Blade) - I've found in the early stages of this here internet project that I really don't have as much to say or any real fun memories involving stuff that's been put out in the last few years. The work/sleep/work/sleep/die cycle of adulthood does that to you, I guess. Anyway, Viking metal good, late capitalism bad.

*Amon Amarth - Under the Influence EP (2013, Metal Blade) - Ha ha good lord, this came as a few added bonus with Deceiver of the Gods, and it is weeeeeeird. I guess they decided that they'd really like to pay tribute to Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motörhead, and AC/DC, but decided that every band in the known universe had already covered every imaginable song. So they just wrote new songs that sounded like those bands, and shit gets out of hand on the Sabbath tribute song, where he puts on this crazy, nasally Ozzy voice for the half of the song, and the AC/DC one, where the death metal band you know for songs about brutal Viking war is singing about liking to bone down with 7 foot tall women.

Amorphis - Am Universum (2001, Relapse) - Hey, so, um, this is my wife's CD and I've literally never listened to it, and I have just learned a harsh lesson that I should probably skip over situations like that when typing for internet purposes.

Annihilator - The Best of Annihilator (2004, Roadrunner) - Man, I hate to say this, because thrash/speed metal that's technically too old to have ever been a thing to me is kind of my deal, but I just cannot get into these guys, and this is even a "best of," which is usually a can't-miss kind of situation. I don't know if it's the singer's voice or that it's a little too Malmsteenish in it's guitar-wankery, or that I just don't like it for some other, more abstract reason, but this is a big nope for me, you guys. Maybe I need to revisit it in a few years, but probably not. I'm sure they're nice people though, right?

*Anthrax - Fistful of Metal (1984, Megaforce) - This is the record with Neil Turbin on vocals, and he's in a weird in-between area when it comes to downtrodden original vocalists. One one side of the spectrum, there's Al Atkins from Judas Priest, who's all "ha ha, hey guys, those boys sure did well for themselves and I'm alright with that! Have you heard my new CD?" and on the other, there's Paul Dianno from Iron Maiden, who has more of a "graaaargh fuck Bruce Dickinson, I hate Iron Maiden, and I'll kick you all in the nuts right after I finish playing all these old Maiden songs!" thing going on. But Turbin is at least diplomatic enough to admit that he doesn't completely despise modern Joey Belladonna 2.0 Anthrax, but will stop drop a "lol it sounds like he said something about underwear on "Monster at the End," what a bunch of turds." So he's old and bitter, but it hasn't consumed him, making him pretty much like the rest of us.

*Anthrax - Armed & Dangerous EP (1985, Megaforce) - Just gonna make a public service announcement here that if you truly want to hear either this or Fistful of Metal, do not get the version that has them both on one CD, because that version is freakin' garbage. I know you're sick of reading about me blabbering about MP3 bitrates, but it really just sounds like they popped in both CDs, ripped them at 128 or maybe even 96, then used that as the basis for that release. Like it has that weird, kinda swirly sounding distortion you'd get after spending an hour to download something off Kazaa Lite in 2001. Just suck it up and get the two things separately, because you'll be out 15 bucks, and it will bother you.

Anthrax - Spreading the Disease (1985, Island) - Got this CD shortly after the start of my ill-fated college career at Ole Miss, and seeing me purchase and listen to things like this was a big part of why my roommate probably thought I was the devil and ended up moving out after one semester. I think the main thing was that he was just absolutely super into Jesus, like bullish on Jesus to the point of being into all those weird Christian contemporary bands where middle-aged dudes with their hair awkwardly combed forward try to infiltrate the youth. And this is the internet, and I'm sure you're getting ready for me to shit on the dude on religious grounds, but for real, he might have been the nicest human being I've ever met, which kinda makes me feel monstrous now for somehow running him off without even trying to do so. Anyway, if you ever have super nice Christians in your life, try to not to expose them to thrash metal, Clerks, and the WWF Attitude Era, unless you want them to leave.

Anthrax - Among the Living (1987, Island) - When I was a child, there was an incident where my brother was doing some weird nonsense, where he was playing a Michael Jackson record on a little record player and recording it on the little tape player was theoretically to be used with the little Texas Instruments computer that was hooked to a black-and-white TV. Anyway, five-year-old me runs in and starts messing with shit, and he yells "don't you touch anything!" and just smashes me in the head with the tape recorder. I immediately start screaming and crying, culminating in the immortal line "YOU COULD HAVE KILLED ME AND YOU WOULDN'T HAVE ANYBODY TO PLAAAY WITH! (to play with)" Like seriously, the last part wasn't a typo; I mumbled "to play with" again quietly, like a goddamn Insecticon. The tape was running the whole time, and the resulting cassette was used to embarrass me for the next thirty years by both my brother and mother alike. Anyway, at some point in the early 1990s, my brother rigged up his stereo some kind of way, and he made a recording that was the song "Among the Living" with the entire "YOU COULD HAVE KILLED ME" speech looping throughout, and he called it "You Could Have Killed the Living." I'm not entirely sure, but I may actually have that tape (the Anthrax remix, I think my mom has the original unedited tape recorder assault) somewhere around here. So, possible future bonus content, maybe?

Anthrax - State of Euphoria (1988, Island) - Somehow, they convinced Mort Drucker of Mad Magazine fame to do a drawing of the band for this, and when I saw it reproduced within those pages, I decided that Anthrax were pretty much my dudes. Because I couldn't have given a careless whisper of a forgotten popcorn fart about music in any form at that age, outside of "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. and the full discography of the Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew, but Mad Magazine was Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love, the Universe, and Everything to me, and I guess it's all worked out well in the end. Also, as long as they continue to print up State of Euphoria shirts with that drawing on the back, I will always have one in my wardrobe.

Anthrax - Persistence of Time (1990, Island) - Again, the year 1990 was more crazy and prolific with awesome things than anyone seems to give it credit for, (Both Rust in Peace AND the search for the 1990 Pro Set Santa Claus card, you guys) and this would be the absolute A Number One Anthrax record, in a world without Among the Living. A weird ting here, though, where my CD is just the regular version everyone has, and as far as I know, there never was a censored "clean" version, but the lyric sheets inside say "my busted truck" in place of the word "clusterfuck," and now, I want someone to make an album that says "motherfucker" constantly, but make a clean version that says "Mister Falcon," in tribute to the TV version of Die Hard. Anyway, I guess this is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps.

Anthrax - Attack of the Killer B's (1991, Island) - For some reason, when I was like eleven, I thought "Startin' Up a Posse" was the craziest, most subversive thing ever, and I'm pretty sure I had convinced myself that this thing (which is a full-length E.P., I guess?) had actually been banned. In real life, it remained plentiful, because even a record where background singers go "cunty-cunty-cunty-cunt" at one point would not be enough to keep "Bring the Noise" out of record stores. The early 90s were such a strange time, because bands like Anthrax and Megadeth were suddenly becoming mainstream huge, bands like Sacred Reich and Prong were all over major labels, and the early stages of grunge were starting to kill off glam rock, and it felt like we were on the verge of the most rockingest time in history, but instead, Kurt Cobain blew his brains out, and all the thrash metal bands that Warner Bros had signed got dropped in favor of stuff like Greenday. We are in the darkest timeline.

Anthrax - The Sound of White Noise (1993, Elektra) - AAAAAH FUCK, I OPENED THE CASE AND THE CD IS GONE, WHAT THE HELLLLLLL, NOOOOOOOOOOOOO

SPECIAL UPDATE: It was inside the case for Paranoid by Black Sabbath for unknown reasons, so I don't have to go to Ebay and look longingly at that two-disk Japanese version, thinking that $25 isn't completely unreasonable, but knowing I'll never pull the trigger. I got this CD in the first place as part of the Original Eleven Christian Cousin CDs, which was cool to happen when it did, because I literally think I had gotten my first CD player like a month earlier and had absolutely nothing except a handful of tapes my brother hadn't taken to college with him and my mom's copy of Nevermind by Nirvana. But this was the start of a crazy time, when Anthrax booted Joey Belladonna and started sounding like a grungy version of Armored Saint, and they just got super huge (by Anthrax standards) and "Black Lodge" would get played on MTV during daylight hours, which was huge for a metal band in those days, and every movie soundtrack was suddenly required to have an Anthrax song. And then, they just fell into a pit of sadness and despair for like a decade, because shit is fickle sometimes. But god dang, this CD was a monster when it came out. I still love Anthrax and all they do with Joey back in the band these days, but I'm still sad/pissed that they act like the John Bush years didn't happen, because I care for this a great deal, and I want like a dozen t-shirts and posters involving this record, even though the cover honestly kind of sucks.

Anthrax - Live: The Island Years (1994, Island) - Man, if ever there was a release that screamed, "these dudes signed somewhere else and still have one record left on their Island Records deal," this is it. A live album with stuff from two different shows, zero apparent band involvement, and a promotional blitz that I'm pretty sure consisted of just asking the Columbia House catalog guy to say something nice. I'm sad that there's no real, official live album from Belladonna's original run, although I'm sure some of those fancy 2CD editions I can't afford of the 80s stuff might cover that by now.

Anthrax - Stomp 442 (1995, Elektra) - Man, this is the beginning of the dark years for Anthrax. Heavy metal was dead as a commercialized genre, their own label wanted nothing to do with them, and they were in that awkward stage where Dan Spitz had quit to go build watches for Jesus, but they refused to name an official replacement, secretly holding out hope that Pantera would break up, so they could make Dimebag Darrell the full-time guy. And this was truly the record where they tried too hard to get all 90s on us, with sort of a vaguely-grungy, weird noise thing happening, but it's still admittedly better than what happened with shit-garbage albums like Load, Risk, or Diabolus in Musica. There's still a lot of good here, and I hold fast to the belief that Anthrax has both never put out a bad album and as a result, is secretly the best band out of the Big Four. Also, "Fueled" was pretty much the unofficial theme song of the year 1997 for me, and ended up on so many mixed tapes.

Anthrax - Volume 8: The Threat is Real! (1998, Ignition) - Welp, this is it, you guys. Anthrax's absolute nadir, their lowest point, studio album-wise. They put out a CD no one liked for a label no one had heard of, which ended up going out of business a week later. They're still using Paul Crook as a full-time lead guitar player, still refusing to let him be an official member of the band, and for some reason, they had killer awesome artwork done, but only used a blurry corner of it for the cover. Thing is, this is actually... Okay? I mean, it's not Among the Living or anything, but I'd go so far as to say I like it slightly more than Stomp 442. (Which I just found out last year is properly said as "four four two," and not "four forty-two," like I had been thinking for 20 years.) The production is kinda wonky, with Scott Ian still worshipping Dimebag Darrell, but being too shy to ask how he tunes his guitars, so they have this awful "BWOMP-BWOMP" sound, and the whole thing is lousy with weird little electronic noises in places that add nothing, but it's good overall, if you can deal with that. Anyway, after Ignition Records died, this became really hard to find and cost a shitload on Ebay, and that was always crazy to me, because I got it for like 14 bucks at Walmart.

Anthrax - Ball of Confusion single (1999, Beyond) - I got this off Ebay when it came out, because the thought of a song (A Temptations cover, even) with John Bush AND Joey Belladonna on it to was too good to pass up, but I wasn't going to buy that Return of the Killer A's best of thing, if I already had every other song on it. And honestly, this isn't very good, and it's probably got a lot to do with Scott Ian's weird guitar sound and overuse of clicks and beeps and buzzes and echoes everywhere. Anthrax's death spiral would then continue as Beyond Music went out of business, just like Ignition did, and that's pretty rough.

Anthrax - We've Come for You All (2003, Sanctuary) - Whoa, holy crap, the enhanced CD part of this works with modern computers, and the two live songs on it look light straight-up bootleg camcorder footage, and that's cooler to me than it should be, probably. But this is finally it, Anthrax's big comeback CD, where they finally stopped being sad pieces shit on failing record labels, and it got great reviews, and everyone who listened to it almost universally loved it, aaaaand still, no one bought it. So somehow, the death spiral continued, with Charlie Benante turning the entire internet against him in the process, by bitching about Americans and their computers and downloads and things. We almost saw them play in Dallas while they were on tour for this, but no one had a functioning vehicle, and it turned out okay, because that Dallas show became infamous for everything going wrong, like I think the P.A. system blew up or something. Oh well.

Anthrax - Music of Mass Destruction CD/DVD (2004, Sanctuary) - Oh hey, it's a live album, and a I remember this being really cool at the time, because Anthrax had always been kinda tight with live stuff for some reason, and no one that couldn't make it to the show knew what John Bush sounded like on Belladonna material. and he does well, you guys. The real story here is the DVD, where bonus behind-the-scenes footage mostly consists of everybody trying to play it cool while Frank Bello just constantly snaps at Rob Caggiano, and not in a playful way, like it's really uncomfortable. Oddly enough, Bello quit the band and joined Helmet not too much later, and Caggiano eventually took off to join Volbeat once he was back in the band. Hmmm.

Anthrax - The Greater of Two Evils (2004, Sanctuary) - I always had mixed feelings about this one. First, they announced a special CD of old 80s songs done in-studio with John Bush, which was something everyone still into Anthrax had always wanted. But then, it turned into a "live in the studio" thing, where it's technically a concert, but for a few dozen fan club types who don't have mics to pick them up between songs. So it's kind of like a weird version of Music of Mass Destruction, but without crowd noise or between-song banter, and a way more 80s-centric setlist. For real, I'd have rather just had them do a straight studio album, but I'm still glad this happened.

Anthrax - Extended Versions (2007 Sony/BMG) - Ahhhh, what the hell, why was this released, it's just the CD from Music of Mass Destruction, but with two fewer songs. Why did I buy this? Why am I putting it on my computer? WHY ARE NONE OF THESE VERSIONS ACTUALLY EXTENDED IN ANY WAY?  WHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Anthrax - Worship Music (2011, Megaforce) - Ohhhh shit son, they did it, they done it, they done did it, they put out an album that people both liked AND bought. Turns out, all it took was re-hiring Joey Belladonna, having him quit, bringing back John Bush, replacing him with some new guy and having him quit/get fired, then having John Bush say "screw y'all, I'm not coming back again," and re-re-re-re-hiring Joey Belladonna.  Yeah. Also, oddly enough, I'm not that into this one, at least as much as the rest of world was. I mean, "Fight 'Em Till You Can't" is one of the all-time best things they ever did, and there's a kick-ass EP somewhere in all of this, but once "In the End" ends (oddly enough), this just dies a terrible, ghastly death. I literally don't think I've ever heard the song "Revolution Screams," because I never made it that far without shutting it off or going back to the beginning. But yeah, iffy album, all-time classic EP.

*Anthrax - Anthems EP (2013, Megaforce) - Oh hey, it's a covers EP, with mostly 70s Big Guitar Rock kinda stuff like Journey and Boston, and eh, I'm not into this at all, honestly. It's just a little too by-the-numbers and not much different from the originals, and hell, classic rock radio still exists, and the originals are always better in situations like this. Would have been nice if they had put a little more Anthrax on these, I dunno. I managed to get the version with the AC/DC-themed cover, and while I has hoping for Thin Lizzy, (Jailbreak is pretty much the all-time great album cover) at least it wasn't that creepy  Cheap Trick one.

Anthrax - Thrash in Texas (2015, Gossip) - This is a weird-ass release, because it's a bootleg release, but it's sold in regular stores, and I'm pretty sure the band themselves hyped it up on the website a little when it dropped. Anyway, this is the concert they did for a radio broadcast in Dallas in 1987 that produced a couple tracks for the I'm the Man EP. The weird thing is that "I'm the Man" isn't even on here, and it's clearly not from the same source as those. This sounds like a decent soundboard-hookup bootleg, as opposed to a professional studio album, and in further plot-thickening, I downloaded an older bootleg of this same show back in the day, (which sounded like hell, possibly recorded from the crowd) and these songs are all out of order, and there are still a few more they left off this CD. Magical mysteries. Maybe someday, they'll find the original tapes and do a legit version of the whole show, but I doubt it. Otherwise, this is nice.

*Anthrax - For All Kings (2016, Megaforce) - Ohhhhhhh shiiiiiiit. This is so goddamn good, y'all. Belladonna 2.0 (or maybe 4.0, I guess) Anthrax finally put out an album that was written with his voice in mind, instead of that Anselmo-worship dude they had for a minute, and this is a nice mix of old-style thrash and that post-thrash groove metal that they got really good at after a decade, and everything works. Also, I think Scott Ian just got wayyyy too into Game of Thrones while writing this, and it's almost like he stumbled ass-backwards into accidentally writing some sort of medieval violence-and-revenge concept album, but I'm kinda worried he might fuck it up if he tried to do that on purpose. Also, I have fully accepted the Skull King Guy as the new Anthrax mascot, just so long as Not Man is never fully abandoned. If they ever make a t-shirt with Not Man in full Skull King dude garb, I'mma buy like thirty of them shits.

Arrested Development - 3 Years, 5 Months, and 2 Days in the Life Of... (1992, Chrysalis) - We made it out of the Anthrax Gauntlet, you guys. Anyway, like I said in the 754 Boyz thing, rap/hip hop was never my thing, and as such, much of my enjoyment of it is like a thousand percent tied to nostalgia of small times. Basically, I couldn't give a fuck less about Drake and never figured out why Kanye was ever a big deal, but if "Tennessee" pops up on the radio, I'm turning that shit up like Freedom Rock. Anyway, this and Vulgar Display of Power by Pantera were pretty much the official soundtrack of late junior high rides to school, and it is precious to me forever. It was really funny after a while, because my brother started giving this dude from my class, Leon, rides home sometimes, and he was just astounded and amazed that there actually were white people who listened to rap, (Eminem hadn't happened yet) and I'd see him in the hallway, and he'd grin real big and ask if Jack was still listening to Arrested Development. Also, we'd have to give people rides home to this little all-black (or at least mostly-black, I never checked their census results) town called Renova every now and then, and all the rednecks and regular white people talked about it like it was Compton during the height of the Crips vs. Bloods gang war, like you'd get shot on sight. And it was such bullshit, because all you'd see the whole time driving through there was people hanging out in their front yards, just smiling and waving, even though I'm pretty sure they didn't even know who we were. You drive through white suburbs sometimes and little kids on the streets flip you off and throw shit at your car for no reason. Never trust white people. Except me; I'm your friend in the digital age.

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