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B-Sides Worth A Damn - 80%

OzzyApu, October 28th, 2009

Although smashed between the more monolithic “The Heretic (The Lost Child)” and the title track on The Headless Children, “The Real Me” was a pretty good transition track; it’s fun and sports a very groovy bass (oddly the only time where it’s louder than the guitars in terms of mixing). With the same production quality of the full-length, everything transfers over: guitar tone, thunderous drums, and Blackie’s harsh singing in all of its glory. While I haven’t heard the original song, this cover does get you in the mood for a party with its sing-a-long verse / chorus and upbeat tune.

The other two songs are much darker and didn’t make it onto the original release. Both are available on the reissue, and they have the same quality as the full-length songs, so again everything good about the production job transfers over to these songs. “Lake Of Fools” utilizes haunting clean waves and brooding bass to slowly creep as Blackie’s meandering voice lures you in one step at a time. The song offers more in atmosphere in the first half and sheer power brought on by Holmes in the second half. This outro is over two minutes long and is the best part of the song, culminating in frantic solos and depressing riffs to end the pain. The drums are especially catchy as they lay down their heavy supporting rhythm.

“War Cry” I didn’t exactly grasp the first time around; it grows on you, for sure. I thought it was boring upon first listen, but hearing it again and again helped me dissect its cryptic lead and inspiring vocals. There isn’t too much going for it, since it manages to mingle between the epic and the basic tracks when on the full-length. Its probably with “The Neutron Bomber” in terms of appeal: a great build-up, serious chorus, a decent solo, and not much else. I wish the bass came in to lend some support, but it gets buried pretty badly for some reason.

Compared to the other mini-releases for The Headless Children, this is probably the best one. It’s got three studio tracks with decent flow, they’re all at least better than two tracks on the main album, and they all have character of their own. Get the reissue version of The Headless Children and you’ll get these tracks, too.