Anvil – ‘Pounding The Pavement’ (Steamhammer/SPV) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Thursday, 11 January 2018 04:20

Anvil Pounding The Pavement 1500x1500There are certain bands from whom you know exactly what to expect before you slip their latest album onto your deathdeck. AC/DC, Motorhead, Status Quo, ZZ Top… they don’t tend to stray too far from the musical formula which established their reputations. You can, of course, add Anvil to that illustrious list: they have been delivering their particular brand of straightforward, no nonsense, balls to the wall heavy fuckin’ metal for more than three decades now – and, this, their 17th album, is absolutely no exception to the rule which they have set themselves. To adapt one of the songs titles, ‘Pounding…’ sees the Canadian trio still doing what they want…

 

Now into their fifth decade, Messrs Kudlow, Reiner and Robertson are not about to start pandering to anyone, not least of all themselves, never mind the so-called music industry and its pen-pushing bigwigs. But, then, doing what they do has got them to the fortunate position in which they find themselves today – that of doing exactly what they want and playing the heavy metal music that they want to play. It’s a position that Kudlow – best known, of course, as frontman ‘Lips’ – only too readily acknowledges: “despite all the adversities that the life of a musician entails, we still find ourselves in a very privileged position,” he said recently. “We can basically do what we want to do. Nobody interferes, nobody tries to steer us in one direction or the other. Which other artists can say that of themselves?”. Indeed sir.

 

So, it should come as no surprise that ‘PTP’ is, by and large, another collection of characteristic Anvil (pavement) pounders, with in(s)anely silly titles such ‘Bitch In The Box’, ‘Smash Your Face’, ‘Rock That Shit’ and, of course, the trademark alliterative title track, complete with lyrics to match: I mean, they’re not exactly going to win any Booker Prizes for the likes of “Stand before the wall of sound/Now you know to what you’re bound”, are they?

 

 

But, behind all that comedic frontage there is a huge degree of seriousness and an awareness of the world around them: the aforementioned ‘Bitch In The Box’, for example is not about some sadistic sexual fetish but rather that infuriating female voice programmed into the vast majority of in-car sat nav systems! It’s not hard to tell to whom ‘Ego’ is addressed, while the bonus track ‘Don’t Tell Me’ addresses the whole issue of social media, internet trolling and fake news - and then there’s the anthemic ‘Nanook Of The North’, which addresses the plight and challenges faced by Canada’s native Inuit people, by placing one of their most famous stories into a modern setting. Musically, there also are a few small surprises, such as the swing jazz twist on closing track ‘Warming Up’ – but, then, as we said above, Anvil are Anvil (sic) and they basically can do what they want…

 

…Which is exactly what they continue to do and have done in their album, which in itself is a testament to their longevity and a statement of their own philosophy, and the adversities to which Kudlow referred above. “I feel nothing could describe the way we’ve been working for the past forty years better than ‘Pounding The Pavement’,” the frontman says. “Anvil have tried for four decades to earn enough money to survive and continue to make music.” Well, long may they continue doing pounding those pavements and doing what they want to do, because while they do so the world is much more enjoyable, and human, place.

 

‘Pounding The Pavement’ is released on Friday 19 January.

 

Anvil undertake a 15-date UK and Ireland tour next month:

 

Anvil tour poster

 

www.facebook.com/anvilmetal/

 

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