It's a short week in the big-boy work world, but I've still been forced to deal with many annoying people, so allow me to take advantage of the cathartic nature of heavy music. But first, allow me to spin a backstory.
Scooch closer, children.
Now, as a sprog, my friends and I loved heavy metal.
In fact, we felt we were such metal insiders, that we weren't even required to call bands by their full names.
We listened to Priest.
We listened to Maiden.
We listened to Sabbath.
If you listened to Black Sabbath, well, you probably thought Born Again (1983) was a great album.
In fact, back then we were so metal-crazed that we went way out of our way to get our hands on albums from metal bands that nobody else knew, just to maintain our metal elitist reputations. Keep in mind this was pre-Internet, so if you wanted to seek out new metal, you had to purchase it mail order from the back pages of Hit Parader or Circus or Kerrang!. And in most cases, you were completely rolling the dice, because much of the time you were deciding to buy unheard music based solely on the band's name, or more likely, their bad ass album covers. But that didn't stop us from dutifully stuffing envelopes with our hard-earned, and sending them off to countries we were barely aware of, to secure a new Yngwie Malmsteen or Kreator album.
And frequently, when (or often, if) these albums arrived, they were not very good. But you had to pretend they were awesome because you dropped two month's allowance and waited six months to get your grubbies on them.
So, if you ever meet my brother, ask him about the Children Of Madness (1987) album from Paul Di'Anno's Battlezone, then immediately duck and cover, because there'll be haymaker with your name on it.
All I'm saying is that it's much easier, not to mention cost-effective, to find good new metal these days. I don't even look for it anymore, but it somehow finds me, which is where Paris's Iron Lizards enters our conversation. Take a minute and try on the first single from their upcoming debut album, Hungry For Action, "It's About Time!"
Thrashy metal from France!? Who knew? I mean, if you're mining Europe for metal, you're likely gravitating toward Germany or Norway, but Iron Lizards, well, there's definitely a lot to like there. With plenty of volume, an embarrassment of overdrive and breakneck tempos, the trio seemingly has little time or patience to draw the distinction between no-frills metal, hardcore punk and the greasy swaggered of the 60's/70's Detroit scene that gave birth to bands like The Stooges, The MC5 and The Amboy Dukes.
Yes, kiddies, there was a brief moment during which Ted Nugent was cool as hell.
And speaking of punk, I was both shocked and thrilled to see that Iron Lizards namechecked Indianapolis's mighty Zero Boys in their publicity materials.
Love those cats, and no music collection is complete without a copy of Vicious Circle (1980).
That said, it's impossible to listen to "It's About Time!" and not hear the DNA of Motörhead all over it. And lawd knows Lemmy spread around enough of his DNA during his 70 years on this planet.
I really can't say enough about Motörhead, and I've never met a fan of any of the heavier music genres who didn't dig them, even if begrudgingly. That said, the best thing about Lemmy, is that there is absolutely no shortage of great Lemmy stories. It seems everyone has one, and they frequently involve his prodigious drinking habits, his obsession with WWII or his laser-like focus when playing video games, but I don't think Scott Ian's story from the documentary Lemmy (2010) will ever be topped.
So, back to Iron Lizards. The single is available now, but I recommend hanging on until Hungry For Action drops in September, courtesy of the mysterious, yet intriguing, The Sign Records.