Anvil – Hard ‘N’ Heavy (2002, Unidisc Music/Attic Records – Canada Import)
Original Release: 1981, Attic Records
1. “School Love” … 3:15
2. “AC/DC” … 4:41
3. “At the Apartment” … 3:21
4. “I Want You Both (With Me)” … 3:21
5. “Bedroom Game” … 4:01
6. “Oooh Baby” … 2:56
7. “Paint It Black” … 3:55
8. “Oh Jane” … 4:53
9. “Hot Child” … 4:10
10. “Bondage” … 4:31
Steve “Lips” Kudlow – Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar
Dave Allison – Guitar, Lead Vocals (“I Want You Both (With Me)”, “Bedroom Game”)
Ian Dickson – Bass
Robb Reiner – Drums
Originally issued under the band’s original name, Lips, this is a great debut that mixes traditional heavy metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, thrash and speed. I picked this album up along with the 2009 reissue of This Is Thirteen at FYE. I’m glad some of the early Anvil albums are finding their way to America again because in previous years the imports were costing a good chunk of change as far as I was concerned. Now they’re only about $15 and if you can find a $15 album at FYE, you’ve pretty much stuck gold and will wonder if the price is a typo.
I had hear a number of songs over the years but This Is Thirteen was my first in-depth introduction to the band and their debut is a far cry from that release. That album was a bit more lyrically somber and mature but Hard ‘N’ Heavy (sporting one of the most METAL album covers of all-time) features the band sowing their oats with all kinds of horny & juvenile lyrics and song titles. I for one could not be more pleased!
I classify Anvil as pure heavy metal, but thrash and speed metal also play a part in their sound and its refreshing to hear that style of music coupled with lyrics base solely on sex instead of the usual death, politics, religion, end of the world lyrics that the genre typically deals with. What can I say? I’m a hair metal guy at heart and the best way to win me over with lyrics is to talk about a girl or two (together at once).
If you guessed “Paint It Black” is a Rolling Stones cover, you guessed right. Seems it is a cover favorite in the world of metal. Anvil’s take is not really a good cover, in my opinion. Maybe it’s the production. Glenn Tipton and W.A.S.P. did far superior versions of this song. Speaking of covers, I think Anvil owes royalties to UFO for “Hot Child” which sounds quite a bit like “Rock Bottom”.
How could a debut this good in a decade so hellbent for metal not propel these guys to international stardom?
Highlights: “School Love”, “AC/DC”, “At the Apartment”, “I Want You Both (With Me)”, “Bedroom Game”, “Hot Child”