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I can imagine a lot of people hearing this song in combination with the name ‘Anthrax’ throwing away their headphones in horror. This ain’t no Gung Ho nor Panic obviously. But try listening to the best of the Bush era without thinking about the glorious eighties. That’s the only way it worked for me. 1993-2003 Bushthrax is just a different entity.
I’ve said it before in my WCFYA review, Safe Home is Bushthrax’ second best ‘ballad’. Had it not had that marvellous harmony in the middle it would’ve only been just slightly better than Harm’s Way but that harmony, that’s one of those things I love about metal and rock. Sheer beauty. Also I love the lyrics and chord progression. Simply put, I like this song no matter how much I claim to be an old school thrasher.
What makes this single obsolete is that it includes two versions of the same song and one of their worst songs from the WCFYA album (‘Taking the Music Back’) so there’s no use to go looking for this if you have WCFYA unless you just wanna collect everything.
So 80 points for their second best Bushthrax ballad but 0 points for the obsoleteness of this release. 40 it is.
No matter what genre of music you’re in, you can tell when someone is running out of ideas the minute they start reaching back to what they think are the best moments of their career. This holds true for Anthrax’s last work with John Bush, which was largely a return to the “Sound of White Noise” style of semi-metallic grunge with early signs of groove metal. Of course, this is not the best era for them musically, it’s simply the best they can hope for inside the massive hole they’d been digging for themselves in the previous 10 years before this.
“Safe Home” is not metal in any way shape or form, nor is it consistently grunge if you take into account the adult alternative rock chorus and the shitty Goo Goo Dolls sounding intro. This is the kind of garbage that Jerry Cantrell would probably laugh at and whisper to a friend “look at those 3 Doors Down sounding kids trying to play metal”. All you would need is a few girlie sounding metalcore shouts and this could have been a ballad on the latest In Flames album. But alas, this joke would only be funny if like In Flames, Anthrax hadn’t actually contributed something amazing to metal’s lengthy history.
“Taking the Music Back” is a musical confession of idea bankruptcy in both its title and its sound. It is a pure fit of self-plagiarism from their 1993 descent from metal prominence with maybe a little bit of a Velvet Revolver” feel. Apparently the only thing Scott Ian and company are good at doing is ripping off ideas from the latest flavor of the month, which itself was a product of trying to bring back the supposedly better alternative rock of the early 90s (for any Atheists reading this, apply your views concerning God to this concept).
When all is said and done, these two songs are the purest examples of what was wrong with “We’ve come for you all”, and why the band basically broke with John Bush afterwards. This version of Anthrax lasted for more than 10 years, as terrible as that sounds, and in that time they took four full length occasions to contradict the very meaning of their name and genre. Anthrax is not a bunch of whinny, flannel wearing, hip-hop culture zombie cunts that are perpetually pissed at the world and unable to express it in a coherent manner, it’s a damned biological weapon that wipes out entire villages, ergo something that was as metal as you can get. That was what Anthrax started out as in 1982 with Neil Turbin and continued to be with Belladonna, and what they successfully killed off in one pass with the album that this single has stolen ideas from. Why should anyone like this better than even “Stomp 442”? As utterly terrible as it was, at least it had some kind of a point aside from a trip to the musical recycling bin.