Anvil - Pound For Pound (SPV Reissue)

SPV take advantage of the renewed interest in Lips and company with a slew of lavishly packaged reissues...
Release Date: 
22 Jan 2012 - 11:30pm

History tells us that by the time Anvil originally released Pound for Pound (1988) their headlong slide from near-riches to rags was in full swing. Swamped by the bands they inspired to take up the cudgels in the name of heavy metal, Anvil were already becoming an irrelevance when Lips and company foisted this album on a disinterested public. Of course, now that we’re all fully paid-up, card-carrying Anvil worshippers we can laugh contemptuously at this and roll our eyes knowingly at the injustice of it all; However thanks to the good people at SPV hoping to turn a quid by reissuing this (and the Strength of Steel and Worth the Weight elpees too, as it goes), we can now sit down dispassionately and ask ourselves –“‘was it really so unfair that this album was ignored back in the day?”

Well, probably not as it goes. Pound for Pound isn’t a bad album by any stretch of the imagination – there is some thunderous drumwork courtesy of Robb Reiner and Lips himself has never been a duffer when it comes to fleet-fingered fretwork, but for every heads-down-no-nonsense-mindless-boogie stomper like Machine Gun you have to sit through nonsense ‘comedy metal’ classics like Toe Jam. Again, Toe Jam ain’t a bad song axe n’drum wise, but the toe curling lyrics (see also: Safe Sex) really do go a long way to explaining why heavy metal fans were seen as half witted gumbies in the late eighties.

The overweaning feeling you get from PfP is that Anvil were probably on the slide because they were running on empty by 1988. Lips too often comes over as a poor man’s Ted Nugent hacking his way through substandard material because he doesn’t know any better. There are some great moments on this album (especially Blood on the Ice and the eerily prophetic Where Does All the Money Go?) – but not really enough to get your knickers in a twist. I’ll be heading back to Metal on Metal now, if you’ll excuse me.