ANVIL
"Pounding The Pavement"

(SPV/Steamhammer)

01. Bitch in the Box
02. Ego
03. Doing What I Want
04. Smash Your Face
05. Pounding the Pavement
06. Rock That Shit
07. Let it Go
08. Nanook of the North
09. Black Smoke
10. World of Tomorrow
11. Warming Up
12. Don't Tell Me (bonus track)

RATING: 8/10

ANVIL: the band you love to love.

Whatever Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner hoped to achieve for themselves with their heartfelt, quasi-documentary film "Anvil! The Story of Anvil", it can't have put them in any better position. These Canadian working stiffs have given it their all to make an impact following their lauded film with an accompanying book, festival gigs and television appearances. Sadly, the sales numbers of the band's subsequent album, "This Is Thirteen", were telling of how hard it is to make a living at this gig, even if you carry veteran status.

With bassist Chris Robertson still hanging around, ANVIL drops its 17th slab, "Pounding the Pavement". If you're an ANVIL fan, you know the cheese of a Flying V jackhammer on this album's cover is simply staying true to the group's long-running shtick. Just roll through the equally nutty embodiments of skull-crushing Acme irons on "Plugged in Permanent", "Absolutely No Alternative", "Worth the Weight" and, of course, "Metal On Metal".

The cool thing about "Pounding The Pavement", however, is it's one of ANVIL's best albums in recent years. Coming upon four decades in the life, the group no longer gives a damn about making a run at widespread acceptance. There's a cleaned-up clout to this album bowing to the band's early years, hammered out with finessed, often speedy frustration on "Ego", "Let It Go", "Black Smoke", "Warming Up" and the rumbling instrumental title track.

The massive anthem "Doing What I Want" sums up ANVIL's understandable attitude, dropping a satisfying, boisterous album loaded with on-the-surface trashy titles "Bitch in the Box", "Rock That Shit" and "Smash Your Face". Being around as long as these rowdies have, however, there's refreshingly more beneath the surface. "Bitch in the Box", for example, rings as a vent about marital henpecking, but is actually a disguised tirade against computers.

The blues-rawking "Rock That Shit" is a giddy swing in the vein of MAMA'S BOYS and ROSE TATTOO with hilarious references to sock hops and "rock and roll meals". It's too confident in its own goofiness to dismiss, even with the lumbering dumb fun of "Nanook of the North" nattering upon its heels. Lips's gleeful solo here more than compensates for the mad crackers crumbled into the track. Hang tight with his narration, though, for "Nanook of the North" is actually a saber-toothed protest jam against irresponsible oil-drilling conglomerates. The doom slides of "World of Tomorrow" is a bit more obvious in theme, and its driving groove is only superseded by its lyrical conscience.

"Pounding the Pavement" is the album that would've done ANVIL a smidge more benefit following "Anvil! The Story of Anvil", since it shows how effective and resourceful this band can be. For longtime fans, it's a breath of fresh air, justification for a band that has recorded its own slogging ruts in exasperating intervals. This is the sound of ANVIL climbing out and rejoicing in its own oxygen.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).