Anthrax - Attack Of The Killer B's review


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Band: Anthrax
Album: Attack Of The Killer B's
Release date: 1991

01. Milk (Ode To Billy)
02. Bring The Noise
03. Keep It In The Family [live]
04. Startin' Up A Posse
05. Protest And Survive [Discharge cover]
06. Chromatic Death
07. I'm The Man '91
08. Parasite [Kiss cover]
09. Pipeline [The Chantays cover]
10. Sects [Trust cover]
11. Belly Of The Beast [live]
12. NFB (Dallabnikufesin)

The sting in the tail.

It is an odd feeling, judging a record that by its very nature is of lesser quality, taking the supporting cuts and combining them into one place to allow for easier access in a pre-internet world. Anthrax's contribution to the B-side record is a strong one, combining not only rare tracks with new live cuts but also with the added bonus of new material. Attack Of The Killer B's is admittedly an album for diehards, but one that gives you the feeling of value for money in terms of quality rather than feeling like a cash-grab for completionists (well, if people were still buying records, anyway).

B-side records are by their very nature an erratic and eclectic mix, with the only common thread being that it was material originally not thought strong or relevant enough to fit on an album proper. Attack Of The Killer B's follows much in the same vein, combining tracks from the EP Penikufesin (never released in North America), live tracks, covers, and secondary releases, as well as some originals. As expected, this does affect the flow of the album, jumping from studio to live tracks, as well as songs that have varying production qualities; overall, though, it is only a minor impact and one that you should be prepared for, so ultimately it lives up to expectations rather than dropping below them.

Of course there is "Bring The Noise"; probably the sole reason this B-side collection gets any attention given to it is seeing Anthrax release it on one of their own records as Public Enemy had on theirs. Positioned by many next to "Walk This Way" in the pantheon of rap metal and being amongst the prime movers of the genre, though the subsequent genre does tarnish its name, "Bring The Noise" shows that it wasn't for its own lack of quality that those that followed ruined what was a good idea. "Bring The Noise" remains one of the strongest songs of its genre to this day, if not the strongest.

The two live tracks pulled from Persistence Of Time are not only performed well and sound great, they should go a ways toward silencing naysayers that the aforementioned album wasn't thrash; these live renditions help highlight the power that was smoothed out on the studio album. It does make me wish that Live: The Island Years had more effort put into it (being merely a contractual obligation) as the band were a vital force at this time, if these tracks are anything to go by.

Much of the album highlights the light-hearted nature of the band, with two Stormtroopers Of Death covers alongside "Startin' Up a Posse", a new version of "I'm The Man", and "N.F.B.". While they get a smile from me and are forgettable enough that after awhile the joke sounds fresh again and again (in a twist of fate, being forgettable is a benefit in this scenario), they are OK listens but not much more than that. The latest version of "I'm The Man" goes a long way in ruining the charm and fun of the original that made you overlook what a bad song it was on paper but one that works when you hear it. This new version adds a new verse, beat, and vocal inflection that just destroys what the song had originally; even for a B-side it is awful.

The departure of Belladonna a few months after this release shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise in hindsight when you listen to this album; he appears on only two of the new tracks (discounting the live tracks) and Ian takes over vocal duties in his place. While this could just be a case of the songs not being 'serious', it is quite telling how much Belladonna is sidelined.

The playing across this album varies, given that it is a compilation; the band does maintain a high level of consistency when it is not deliberately sacrificed in the name of humour, however. Only "I'm The Man '91" will make you question the quality of the band at any point.

Overall I would say for fans who consider themselves more than just casual listeners that Attack Of The Killer B's is a worthwhile listen. It is never going to be your favourite Anthrax record or one that is designed to stand toe-to-toe with their studio output, but it is at least one that gives itself a strong reason for existence in the band's back catalogue beyond mere merchandising opportunity.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Production: 7


Written on 09.11.2020 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 18 users
09.11.2020 - 19:20
Fair review. I agree with your rating. I love Anthrax so I also like this album a lot, but that's based on my affinity for the band to a degree as well.
10.11.2020 - 00:52
I really hated "Bring The Noise" initially but I have come to appreciate it for what it is and for how provocative it was for Anthrax (and thrash) fans.

Who says that Persistence Of Time is not thrash? What is it, if not thrash
10.11.2020 - 15:42
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
B side belongs to the past, but I love them, free Space in a tape. Some cool jam its done. I like album in whole, always listen it.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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