Image via Blabbermouth
Release Date: January 18, 2019
Producer: Jorg Uken
Personnel: Steve “Lips” Kudlow (vocals, lead guitar), Robb Reiner (drums), Chris Robertson (bass)
Pounding the Pavement is the 17th studio album for the Canadian heavy metal band, Anvil. Forming officially in 1981, Anvil was created by high school friends Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner. The duo played together for the first time in 1973, but it would be eight years until Anvil was formed with former bassist Ian “Dix” Dickson and backup vocalist/rhythm guitarist Dave “Squirrely” Allison. Back in those days, Anvil’s music was becoming popular under record label Attic and even approached by Aerosmith manager, David Krebs to sign with a major label. After some time passed, Krebs became uninterested since Attic wouldn’t release Anvil’s first three albums as part of any deal, so Anvil was left hanging. This all went down in 1986, and Anvil was left in the dust by a few up-and-coming metal bands: Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer – you may have heard of them.
Going back to 1981, Anvil’s first album Hard ‘N’ Heavy made an impression on Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, who offered Kudlow the lead guitarist position, which was held by “Fast” Eddie Clarke. I wonder if Kudlow ever regrets his decision not to take the role with Lemmy. I’m sure he’ll never admit that, but there’s no question which band has made a larger footprint in the metal genre. If I’m being honest here, this is my first time listening to a full length album from Anvil, but I came away impressed by their latest work, Pounding the Pavement.
Let me start off my review by stating that Pounding the Pavement isn’t the most intricate, technical, heartfelt album that I’ve ever heard, but that’s not Anvil’s intention here. Pounding the Pavement is loaded with cheesy lyrics, heavy riffs, and thrilling guitar solos. All in all, it’s a good metal album that reveals to me a band that is comfortable with its position in the metal world and is having a good time making music.
A few of their songs: “Bitch in the Box”, “Doing What I Want”, and “Rock That Shit” not only seem corny, they are. “Bitch in the Box” is a knock against computers and technology, and “Doing What I Want” is essentially Anvil explaining themselves for the Velveeta cheese that they present to their fans on the album. It may not be good for us, but it sure is good.
“Pounding the Pavement” does just that as the band gives us a smashing instrumental, and if you’re in the mood to listen to pent-up frustration channeled through music, turn your attention to their speedier works in “Ego”, “Black Smoke”, “Let it Go”, and “Warming Up.”
“Smash Your Face” is a good deal fun as the song tells us that rock ‘n roll will be forever stuck in our head and will become the soundtrack of our life. It’s amazing how a song that begins playing can instantly take us back to a place in our past that we thought had long since been forgotten. The song has a cool message and a grandiose, guitar solo by Kudlow.
Pounding the Pavement was a great deal of fun for listening and reviewing purposes, and I’m glad I discovered Anvil. It’s a shame that Anvil missed the train in the 80’s to land a major label, but they have maintained their metal act since 1981 without any kind of hiatus and managed to release 17 studio albums in the process. Despite their lack of commercial success, these guys have not relented in their passion for heavy metal and rock ‘n roll, and I commend them for that.
However, Pounding the Pavement was more fun than it was good, so…
I’m going to give Pounding the Pavement a 68%.