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Sometime around 1985 Scott and Charlie from Anthrax decided to get together with roadie Billy Milano and bassist Dan Lilker (Nuclear Assault). The result was a more pumped up Anthrax/weird crossover sound with one hell of a sense of humor. After one demo (recorded on a walkman) they recorded Speak English or Die in Anthrax’s studio. The album was filled with 1-2:30 minute thrashers and plenty of few second moments of hilarity. This strange arrangement was very original, sported by just a few bands including early Nuclear Assault. The sound had a surprising turnout with a ton of fans loving it (probably because of lack of attention span). The only problem was that some hardcore thrash fans took the album a little too seriously and discarded the band.
All of the songs are good to thrash fans but there are several highlights among this massive 21 song set.
March of the SOD/ Sergeant D & and the SOD start things off with a bang with that simple yet effective riff. It pummels along like a march until Sergeant D comes up fast and evil to kick your ass. It goes from the midtempo verse to that KICKASS fast riffage for the chorus. Yes, S.O.D. can thrash. Sergeant D is coming… and you’re on his list! The album is full of infectious chorus’. Catchy chorus’s is something S.O.D. does, and they do it well. Midpaced drums open up Milano Mosh which is a highlight. It uses the mosh effective “stomp” verses/chorus. Milano does a very good job on vocals throughout the album, belting out high pitched screams to intimidating hardcore styled vocals to those vicious vocals like in the title track. The title track is one of the few track that seem like actual songs which is very good. There are some cool bass fills throughout the song as well. SPEAK ENGLISH OR…. DIE!!!!!!!!
United Forces has a nice little solo. Scott is of course on top of things as always. Holy shit, Chromatic Death must be the best 43 second song I’ve ever heard. That opening guitar riff, sort of similar to Megadeth’s Rattlehead is fucking brutal. It thrashes everything in site but before your 4th headbang it’s over. Anti-Procrastination Song is 6 seconds that’s funny as hell. What’s That Noise is another very funny track. It’s a bunch of static over Billy going insane and the band playing the same shit over and over again. Freddy Krueger sounds like a pumped up Anthrax song and is the longest song on here clocking in at 2:33.
Milk is the best fucking song on the album and opens with a completely evil bass riff and Billy doing… a death metal growl? Nothing is more hilarious than evil thrash music and a wonderful chorus, than all that with lyrics about being to lazy to get milk. This is so damn catchy it’s a shame it wasn’t made into a full song. Pussy Whipped is another example of a potential wonderful thrash song. The opening riff actually sounds something similar to Kreator. Fist Banging Mania is a showcase of Milano ability to fucking spit the vocals out like bullets. Fuck the Middle East is a 20 second slab of gutbusting metal along with a side of lyrical content that promises to offend.
The last three infamous tracks are great. BLEARG! The Ballad of Jimi Hendrix cracks me up more than anything.
I guess this album could be hit or miss for a lot of people. Fans of Vio-lence, Overkill, and Anthrax will probably think it’s good-awesome. Death/Black/Doom metal elitist’s will beg to differ. An album that this can be easily compared to is the equally entertaining, Game Over/ The Plauge by Nuclear Assault. So if you enjoy something along those lines check that out, or vice versa.
Also if you happen to get a version with two bonus tracks, Go is better than anything on the original!