Friday, February 25, 2011

3 Inches of Blood--Fire Up the Blades

In my work life, I am forced to become another man in order to keep from alienating my coworkers; so that they are not driven to insanity, I am forced to leave my crunchy, crusty tastes at the door and deal with listening to hip hop, bubblegum pop rock from the 60's, and worst of all, the scourge of all music, reggae.  You see, like most reasonable people, I sit quietly and deal with whatever music is playing around me whether I like it or not.  But God forbid somebody walks back into the shipping area while I'm alone, when my iPod is cranking out the choicest tuneage from the crustiest death metal, hardcore and grind bands the world has ever known!  The complaining starts immediately.  "This is lame," they say (translation: "I'm frightened of your awesome power and sweet taste in music").  "Put Bob Marley back on," they say (translation: "I'm white and want my poor taste to appear eclectic.")  "Why do they scream so much?" they say (translation: "I'm a man with a vagina.")

But, just recently I've found the solution; a solution so ingenious that I feel horrified at myself for not having been so clever in the past.  It keeps everybody happy and allows people to enjoy The Heavy without being able to complain about their vaginas being irritated with the horrible screaming gentleman on the speakers.  That solution: Motorhead Radio on Pandora.

Pandora is a great tool to have at work because, if you're like me, your iPod appears single-minded to the casual observer (it seems that nobody can tell the difference between Morbid Angel and Between the Buried and Me without having a sharp ear).  So we find something that is middle of the road, that nobody will immediately object to, and rock that shit indefinitely.  Motorhead radio has it all: Maiden, Metallica (from their first four albums when they were so, so good), Megadeth (who I never much cared for but who always have the sweetest guitar solos) and Priest, among others.  It's wonderous to me how old Metallica is somehow universally enjoyed--or at least tolerated--by even the least tr00 among us, and everyone is happy.

This plunge back into the olde days of metal has been making me long to listen to some of the stuff that I either used to like or that I have liked forever but no longer have the gusto to listen to.  3 Inches of Blood fall into the latter category for me; I've loved this band for so long I can't remember a life where I didn't have some retarded shirt with a viking on it to wear to shows.  What a ride it's been...*start flashback*

Nick picks up Andy at Andy's house in Bakersfield, California.  Nick, a precocious scamp with big ears and goofy glasses, sits in his new car, a 1991 Toyota Corolla.  Andy enters the passenger door.

Andy: What up, dude?

Nick: Nothing.  I just found this music by this band called 3 Inches of Blood.  They're like a novelty band that takes itself completely seriously.

Andy: That sounds retarded (Andy brushes his ridiculously long hair out of his eyes with a look of scorn that only a high school student can bring to his face)

Nick: I know it sounds like that, but listen to it.  (Nick puts in a dubbed cassette tape--an archaic technology even at this early time--into his tape deck.  "Destroy the Orcs" from the demo tape of 3 Inches of Blood pours out of the speakers)

Andy: Radical!  (Just then, the two are greeted by a strange gentleman at the driver's window)

Some Guy: Hey dudes!  Surf's up!

Andy and Nick (simultaneously):  Cowabunga!

And then we went to a beachfront sock hop.  And that's exactly how it happened with literally no exaggerations.
 "Hopefully these girls will go steady with us.  I'd really like to get Marcia pregnant!"

Fire Up the Blades is 3 Inches of Blood's strongest effort.  Though I instantly fell in love with the over-the-top fantasy of their first album, Advance and Vanquish, they tone down the fantasy for Fire Up the Blades, resulting in a far better album from start to finish.  Additionally, they ramp up the double bass attack and provide their most aggressive album performance, especially when compared to the relatively anemic Here Waits Thy Doom, which is the first album without second singer Jaimie Hooper.  And he is sorely missed.

If you've skipped out on listening to 3 Inches of Blood, you're missing out on one of the maybe four bands in recent history that can fully pull off clean vocals, and you're being a dork.  Don't be that anymore!  Follow your nose to where the Night Marauders hang out.

No comments:

Post a Comment