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Second half of the nineties, a lot of thrash metal acts were releasing EP’s around this time. Most filled with obscure versions of songs, covers, live versions, all that kind of stuff. Penikufesin is one of the best EP’s from that era, coming from a thrash metal act.
Let’s start with the worst then. The only failed experiment here. The alleged French version of ‘Antisocial’. I do know the original, which has it’s own specific charm with even an early eighties ‘industrial’ punk touch and of course, sung in French with a punk sneer.
Anthrax’ ‘State Of Euphoria’ version emphasised on everything ‘metal’ about the song, trimming it, tightening it. A lot of obvious differences between both versions and both worked perfectly the way they were. However, on this Penikufesin-version (only the vocals were re-done, the instrumental State Of Euphoria version was used) Trust vocalist Bernie Bonvoisin sings along, in French, and Joey Belladonna has trouble pronouncing and more important, keeping up. The idea was nice but the performance really lacking and sloppy.
Friggin’ In The Riggin’ is nicely done. Anthrax managed to make the song sound more metal, only due to the production and heavy guitars obviously but without losing the tongue-in-cheek attitude of the original. They did this by singing all together. And yes, the song is funny. And Anthrax were good at being funny.
‘Parasite’ is amazing. Obviously the production here is much better and more clear than the original 1974 Kiss version but the performance here is energetic and especially Joey Belladonna does a marvellous job on vocals. This song really suits him. Speaking of performance, the swing and ease with which the band works its way through ‘Sects’ is undeniably superb. Once again Anthrax prove to have top musicians in their midst. They also manage to create surf-metal by covering the Ventures song ‘Pipeline’. Funny that M.O.D. had a go at surf as well only a few months earlier. And once again, Anthrax made it work.
The brilliance here is that Anthrax shovels up a mixed bag of bands and influences and make it work. Making it sound logical and cohesive. The production, performance and especially the understanding and feeling of the original music which they needed to create their own interpretation, all fall into place here. Possibly unconsciously but successful nevertheless.