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"Surf Nicaragua", the EP with the exceptional cover, was published between the razor-sharp debut and the rather lukewarm "The American Way". This is remarkable because Sacred Reich explained in a text on the inner sleeve of the vinyl that their three own compositions represented the past, present and future. Fortunately, in terms of quality, these songs tended to the high level of "Ignorance". As usual, the main focus was on the brand new tracks of the A side. The lyrics of the opening title track dealt with the American foreign policy. Phil Rind sharply criticised its martial tendencies. In this respect, Sacred Reich differed from the majority of thrash bands that followed lyrically a much more belligerent approach. The anger of the lead vocalist was accompanied by a fast and sharp riffing piece of thrash. An aggressive verse led to the very catchy chorus. The following tune shifted back one gear while offering just an extremely short up-tempo part. Sacred Reich scored a direct hit with both tracks, although they showed an unmistakeable tendency of repetitiveness.
Apart from that, the band with the indecent name - since 1945, my German compatriots have a comprehensible antipathy against the word "Reich" - demonstrated its pacifistic attitude again. "We will not feed the war machine which leads our youth to death" was the key message of the lyrics of "One Nation". Altogether the band appeared in a new guise. They quoted Confucius on the inner sleeve - just compare this with the apocalyptic back cover of the debut album.
The B side did not reach the high quality level of the first tracks. To extend the EP seemed to be the only reason for recording a Black Sabbath cover while "Draining You of Life", the title track of their first and only demo, indeed appeared as a relic of the past. This was true not only from a purely musical point of view but also in terms of the bloodthirsty lyrics. Nevertheless, the sharp riffs of that tune compensated for the lame cover version. Furthermore, the song was the last proof of the unbridled enthusiasm of the band at the beginning of its career.
Let me sum up by saying that Sacred Reich never put the focus on quantity. With the exception of "Independence", they acted almost in a minimalist way. To be quite plain, I am not sure whether this EP was really necessary. They should have taken "Draining You of Life" on the debut, the new tracks would have enriched "The American Way" and the cover version did not make sense at all. Anyway! The EP in its real form was a pretty decent output.
I can be simple about this one. Bollocks to all newbie thrash teens who don’t get it: This is one of the classic eighties thrash metal EP’s. For one it has the most famous Sacred Reich track on it (‘Surf Nicaragua’) which incorporated some heavily punk influenced straight forward uptempo thrash metal as well as interesting late-eighties breaks and the famous Beach Boys surfing riff. For modern standards this happy form of thrash metal is of course not ‘true’ nor ‘evil’ enough since sarcasm and cynicism in metal is something newbies do not seem to understand anymore *sigh*. Just like the song, the lyrics are also in essence funny in a sarcastic way.
‘One Nation’ is stylewise the missing link between the uptempo thrash metal from their debut ‘Ignorance’ and the midtempo power thrash from their later second full length ‘The American Way’. Great song really. The old demosong ‘Draining you of Life’ should stylewise have been on their debut of course but fortunetaly they re-recorded it for this EP. The Black Sabbath cover ‘War Pigs’ is more than decent with Phil Rinds vocals actually being pretty damn good!
An what can I say about that briliant album cover. One of the ultimate ones in thrash metal!
The CD version also had two live tracks, being actually the best two songs from their debut (‘Death Squad’ and ‘Ignorance’). So have perfect can it be? There is no such thing as 100 points, so 99% is what I’ll give.