I can always appreciate an album of cover songs from my long-time favorite bands. Anthrax, though not necessarily known for recording that many covers, does do them well when they get around to it. You may remember a few cover songs off that eclectic album Attack of the Killer B’s released in 1991. It has the popular Metal/Rap collaboration Bring the Noise and a newer version of I’m The Man. Contained therein is also a Kiss cover (Parasite) and even a couple S.O.D. covers (Ode to Billy and Chromatic Death) which, ironically, members of Anthrax are part of. Other than Antisocial, Anthrax has kept their recording of covers to a minimum compared to some other Metallica bands. Now, we have the EP Anthems to satisfy our craving for metal cover songs. Here is the breakdown.
I tip my hat to Mr. Claypool and his brigade of amphibious creatures. They could have just covered a single song off of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece (and my favorite PF record), Animals. But Les had too much respect for the album, and to break it up, he felt would hurt the records integrity, so he just covered the whole darn thing. And he released it as an official Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade live album to boot: Live Frogs Set 2. So not only do you get the Claypool take on a classic album, but you get to hear it with wonderfully captured live energy as well as quality sound quality (if you ever purchased a bootleg of another band doing this kind of thing, you know how bad the audio recording can get). I really can not speak enough of how great the sound quality of this record is, hats off to the production and recording team.
Les’ take on Animals is pretty straight forward not changing anything and staying true to the way Roger Waters composed it. But, given that Claypool carries such a unique bass playing style as well as a peculiar voice, it would be impossible for him to replicate Animals note for note. When compared to the original the low ends are a lot fuller and much more pronounced with many blue notes added in. His voice also fits in perfectly with his oddball croon being a nice change of pace from Roger Waters rather pedestrian voice. The rest of the band also does some outstanding work giving due respect to the source material. I particularly like how saxophonist, Shriek, was able to replicate many of the sound effects heard on the original with his saxophone and Jay Lane’s excellent drumming working well with Claypool’s occasional improvised bits.
After listening to both records back to back, I have to say, I almost prefer Claypool’s rendition to the original, almost. And while there is plenty of the Claypool personality and improved moments crammed in, I do wish he deviated from the original a bit more to give it a more Claypool-ish spin to it. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent homage to Claypool’s favorite band and a wonderful cover that all fans of the original should listen to. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Listen to the cover after the jump:
Children of Bodom is one of several well-known bands that records numerous cover songs; some quite good while others are just entertaining (see their Britney Spears cover). It’s hard to take the band seriously sometimes; they seem to joke around a lot with their music. Setting comedy aside, they covered Grammy winner Pat Benatar’s Hell Is For Children and did a great job with it. The song appears on the album Skeletons in the Closet released in 2009. The album of covers features Billy Idol, Suicidal Tendencies, and Slayer remakes to name a few. Their rendition of Hell Is For Children is their own, but still holds true to the original. I like it mainly for nostalgic reasons.
When MTV first came out in 1981, Pat Benatar was one of a few artists that filmed videos which were on heavy rotation. There weren’t many videos at the time. I was 8 and I thought Pat Benatar was a cool rockin’ chick. I liked a lot of her songs. Little did I know she was setting the foundation for the metalhead I am today. I think it was her song You Better Run which was the second video ever played on MTV. Hell Is For Children was a controversial song (at the time) about child abuse. The song appears on the 1980 album, Crimes of Passion which remained on the U.S. album charts for 93 weeks. Just a tidbit, Pat Benatar was the first solo female artist played on MTV.
Here is the original song by Pat Benatar featured on the album Crimes of Passion, 1980.
Below is the cover song by Children of Bodom which is featured on the album Skeletons in the Closet, 2009.