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Anvil – Pounding the Pavement Review

Released by: SPV

Release Date: January 18th, 2018

Genre: Metal

Links: https://www.facebook.com/anvilmetal/

 

Line Up:

Steve “Lips” Kudlow: guitars, vocals

Robb Reiner: drums

Chris Robertson: bass

 

Tracklist:

1. Bitch In The Box 
2. Ego  
3. Doing What I Want
4. Smash Your Face  
5. Pounding The Pavement  
6. Rock That Shit 
7. Let It Go  
8. Nanook Of The North 
9. Black Smoke  
10. World Of Tomorrow 
11. Warming Up  
12. Don´t Tell Me   (bonus track)

 

Perennial underdogs Anvil is starting off 2018 with a brand new release, Pounding the Pavement, their 16th album in an astounding 40-year run. Through their entire career, they have been a divisive band- some people absolutely loathe them, while others get their simplistic style and love them for it. I for one have always enjoyed their music, as they have remained sonically consistent over the years, not falling to current trends. The core of the band, Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Rob “Robbo” Reiner, have remained the tried and true pairing of this Canadian powerhouse. Most people likely know them from This Is Anvil, the eye-opening and compelling documentary that came out ten years ago, which remains one of the best demonstrations of what it is to be in a struggling band. Yet there is much more to them than that movie.

Pounding the Pavement is a raucous foray into your basic meat and potatoes high energy and high impact metal with moments of plodding doominess. As is the case with every album prior the lyrics are often very juvenile at times, but has essentially become Lips’ trademark. You won’t find any thought-provoking verbiage per se, but if you listen to the lyrics you get a keen sense of the man Lips is: he loves making music, he loves playing live, and he loves his fans. When they try to get topical and into current events (like with “Black Smoke,” “World of Tomorrow,” and even “Nanook of the North”) it’s still simplistic, but you get a clear idea of what his stance is on these hot-button subjects. Mostly the album is high spirited and actually when you get down to it, some of what Kudlow says in his lyrics is pretty good advice for young people today with a song like “Ego” showing the pitfalls of being full of one’s self. Otherwise, the words inspire togetherness and enjoying the music.

Here’s the straight dope: this album will not change your opinion about Anvil. If you already love them, this is yet another great album from the band, and unlike some of the misses of the past has excellent production. If you can’t stand them, then nothing on Pounding the Pavement is going to make you a fan. If you have never heard of Anvil then give this one a shot. It might not be an instant classic like Metal On Metal, but they still sound just as good. Besides, Steve and Robb have an almost unparalleled passion and dedication to this band. Given their run with bad luck they’ve had their whole career, it’s a testament to the musical bond of Anvil that, love or hate them, you have to tip the hat to them for continuing to do it despite the setbacks, despite the small crowds at shows, despite the mockery and derision. Anvil is a band I proudly support, and not just because I love the music, but because I love the spirit of what Anvil stands for.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 8/10

 

 

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