BEATALLICA
"Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band"

(Oglio)

01. Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band
02. Revol-ooh-tion
03. Blackened the U.S.S.R.
04. Sandman
05. Helvester of Skelter
06. A Garage Dayz Nite
07. Anesthesia (I'm Only Sleeping)
08. Leper Madonna
09. Ktulu (He's So Heavy)
10. For Horsemen
11. Hey Dude
12. Sgt. Hetfield's (Reprise)
13. … And Justice For All My Loving

RATING: 8/10

"May I introduce to you… the band who drank a thousand beers… Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band"". After kicking around the Internet for years and enduring a rollercoaster of legal red tape, the debut mash-up from BEATALLICA — the band whose riffs on METALLICA and THE BEATLES are already the stuff of comedy legend — has hit stores. Ironically, the long wait to make BEATALLICA's gleeful musical surgery legal may have hurt the band — after carefully keeping all their previous tracks available as free downloads, to avoid incurring the wrath of their forebears' well-heeled legal teams, it may be that fans just aren't gonna shell out cash for the Fab Four Horsemen's work.

And that's bogus, because these guys at their best are operating on a level far above simple Weird Al novelty knock-offs. They don't miss a trick, and never pass up an opportunity to wedge one more lyrical or musical joke in (from "Blackened the U.S.S.R".: "On the way a paperback was on my knee / couldn't even hit the lights"). While a couple of their songs are simply revved up BEATLES covers given funny lyrics delivered in a dead-on Hetfield impression, complete with "woah-oh-ohhhh, ohh"s galore, their best work slides back and forth effortlessly between METALLICA and BEATLES music, often using familiar melodies from both bands at the same time in a perfect counterpoint. Their mashup of "Enter Sandman" with "Taxman" is arguably this album's most clever and sly mix, the two songs so melded together so seamlessly that it seems they were written that way to begin with. There are some serious fucking chops at work here — you don't just pull off musical mixes like this by singing "Yellow Submarine" in a Jagermeister-toasted yowl.

Not every song is quite that subversive — "A Garage Dayz Nite" and "Hey Dude", while funny as hell, are pretty much just dressed-up covers (though "Hey Dude" riffs on "Nothing Else Matters"). But despite its ultimate novelty status, this is some well-crafted shit, smarter than it has any right to be, and you know what? It'll awaken (or, hopefully, reawaken) your respect for the source material — METALLICA and THE BEATLES both world-changing groups who came up from the streets and made everyone accept their racket on their terms. Hearing these songs out of context like this brings home the point that they are great pieces of music, and it helps you appreciate them on their own merits that much more — a nice added benefit beyond the initial yuks.

BEATALLICA are silly fun, yes, but there's some serious cranial exercises going on behind the laffs, clever musical satire that seems destined not to get nearly the credit it deserves.

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