22 April 2013

Stormtroopers Of Death - Speak English Or Die

Where to begin with this other than by saying "It's awesome and is ALWAYS a mainstay on whatever recording device I have, be it MP3 player or iPod"? I suppose I could go into it in a bit more detail.

Stormtroopers Of Death formed in 1985 when Scott Ian and Charlie Benante of Anthrax got together with Dan Lilker (Nuclear Assault) and Billy Milano to record a series of hardcore songs that Ian and Benante had been playing with. The idea was that the band itself would be a personification of sorts of SARGENT D, a character Scott Ian had been drawing at the time. The result was an album that combined the best bits of thrash metal and hardcore punk and melded it into one unholy package that some people termed 'crossover'. But enough of that.

To put it simply, this recording is fantastic. None of the songs are over three minutes long, they're straight in there and back out. The songs themselves cover a variety of subjects such as over enviromental worries (No Turning Back), running out of dairy products (Milk), the overall attitude and musical prowess of certain bands (Douche Crew) and the Nightmare On Elm Street character Freddy Kruger (Freddy Kruger). However, there were two songs which initially gave the album a bad rep - these being the subtly titled F**k The Middle East and the title track, Speak English Or Die, which lead to accusations of racism. There are also a few comedy numbers in there too, most notably "The Ballad Of Jimi Hendrix" which is basically the first few bars of 'Purple Haze' then a shout of YOU'RE DEAD!!! at the end of it. this in itself would become an S.O.D tradition with various 'Ballads' being released over the years.

The production was handled by Alex Perialas who does an excellent job. It may seem dated now but it is a VERY distinctive production. Everything sounds clear, it's not too muddy and still holds it's own today. The band sound like they had a whole heap of fun when recording this which adds to the overall vibe. It's certainly not the most pollitically correct release, but there are worse out there. In fact, the best way I can describe this record is probably like an audio version of the movie "Animal House". It's loud, boorish, crazy, very funny. Definately a brilliant record.

10/10 - This is proof there is a God.

Chris J.

You can buy this album on iTunes and Amazon.Amazon link
Sorry, not available on Spotify. Although a live album is: Spotify link to S.O.D live album...

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