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With the landmark Speak English or Die out of their systems, the members of crossover pioneers S.O.D. went back to their day jobs. Scott Ian and Charlie Benante returned to their more serious work in Anthrax while Danny Lilker went back to thrash it up in Nuclear Assault. This left vocalist Billy Milano out of a job, so he decided to carry on the spirit of the S.O.D. with his own project, Method of Destruction. Though most of the albums released from this new ensemble ended up being fairly forgettable, M.O.D. were not entirely fruitless. Their debut, entitled USA for M.O.D, is a worthy companion piece to Speak English or Die; sharing many of its highlights and inside jokes, though also sharing its flaws.
The biggest problem with this album is that, like the famed S.O.D. offering, there are plenty of throwaway tracks. All the songs that are less than a minute in length are useless after the first listen (“Ballad of Dio,” “Bubble Butt,” “Bushwackateas,” etc.). There’s usually only a riff or two for any of these and the lyrics are absurd, but not particularly funny. Some of the slightly longer ones aren’t much better, leaving maybe eleven or twelve of the album’s twenty-three tracks as legitimate songs, a weak ratio if you ask me. GWAR is much less serious than these guys and yet they kick way more ass per square kilometer with far less bullshit integrated.
And, unsurprisingly enough, it’s when they stop dicking around with little joke bits and actually thrash that M.O.D. actually manage to kick some ass as well. Tracks like “Aren’t You Hungry,” “I Executioner,” and “Man of Your Dreams” are competent thrashers, full of quality riffs and occasionally some pretty fast fucking drumming. Milano is actually the weakpoint here; while the instruments benefit from the better production this album has (again, I’m comparing it to Speak English), Milano sounds much less fearsome than he did before and actually starts to get annoying pretty quickly. He does have his moments though, like the mock singing in “A.I.D.S.” (hearing is believing) and a few other over the top-isms. Overall, the ‘long’ songs are pretty damned effective and a bit more Exodus than S.O.D. at times. If only there were more of them, my skip button is getting a lot of unnecessary wear.
Fans of crossover can probably purchase this without reserve, but I wouldn’t pay full retail price for this one. It is to date the most successful attempt at recreating the off-color magic of the Stormtroopers of Death (something S.O.D. themselves cannot claim with their disappointing comeback effort), but it’s not nearly as good as Speak English or Die, musically or comically.
Highlights: “Aren’t You Hungry?” “Man of Your Dreams,” “A.I.D.S.”