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Among the Anvil discography, Backwaxed is a bit of an oddball. Released in 1985 by Attic records after the band had been dropped from the label, this compilation of outtakes, demos and best-of material is not regarded highly by the band. Still, the album is for the most part a good, noisy metal blast.
My cassette copy lists “Pussy Poison” as the opening track. This is in fact erroneous, as “Backwaxed” comes first and it’s worth the price of admission alone. This song is absolutely vulgar, the song that was too explicit even for Lips who wrote it and then demanded it excluded from the “Forged in Fire” album. This high-speed song is right up there with WASP’s “F*ck Like a Beast” in the contest for most explicit metal song of all time. “Pull it in and pull it out, tap it on your back and watch it spout,” sings Lips in this ultimate ode to misogyny. The guitar riff during the chorus is vicious and sounds so damn heavy. Every Anvil fan needs to hear this song and the band should bring it back into the set because it is an absolute asskicker.
The rest of side one doesn’t do mush for me. “Steamin’” is ok and the instrumental “Pussy Poison” is quite a good song but it sounds like a demo recording. This one should be redone and recorded properly as it features some killer fast drumwork from Robb Reiner. When Neil Peart dies from chain-smoking Marlboros Robb will become the one true drum god of Canadian metal; the man is a badass. “You’re a Liar” and “Fryin’ Cryin” are nothing special. In fact I would recommend Dave Allison to shut the fuck up and play his guitar. All the songs he sang in Anvil ended up being sub par cock rock. Guess it doesn’t matter now as he left the band ages ago, probably because he wasn’t heavy enough to hang with the demigods of Canadian metal.
Side two of my rusty cassette is a sort of “best of” compilation featuring tracks from the earlier albums that every Anvil fan should already own. They are all killer, classic tracks including the anthemic “Metal on Metal,” the heavy metal hoedown “Butter Bust Jerky” and the hard rocking “School Love” from the debut album.
While not the best place to begin exploring Anvil if you are new to the band, ‘Backwaxed” should be a part of every diehard fans’ collection. If you’re worried about offending an overly sensitive girlfriend I’d recommend playing it when you’re on your own. But if she’s down with the metal and up for getting greasy, well then, have fun and fire away!