"Come and get it!" says Bobby 'Blitz' Ellsworth in the title of opening track of 'The Electric Age'. And, quite frankly, who am I to deny the man's wishes. In an ideal world, everyone would be able to get 'The Electric Age' twenty four hours a day via specially installed loudspeakers belting the album out on every street corner in the land – it's commonly known that the general public don't know what's good for them unless they are bludgeoned over the head with it repeatedly so what better method of delivery than to have 'Electric Rattlesnake' cracking the air asunder as that very same general public goes about its daily business?
When I come to power this sort of revolutionary daydreaming will become a reality, but for now we – the cognascenti, the illuminated few – will have to content ourselves with the fact that, when listening to 'The Electric Age' we are indeed in the presence of greatness. Overkill don't fuck about – they stumbled on a great formula in the late eighties and despite the passage of time and the odd musical left turn here or there they are still living the thrash dream in 2012.
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'The Electric Age' is so coruscatingly compelling, so completely successful in its mission to destroy whatever lies in its path that you'll find yourself in need of a lie down every time you listen to it. Its music appreciation as a contact sport, as one by one each track steps up to pummel the living shit out of your senses.
Ellsworth is front and centre, his hysterical Dirkschneider bark cruising at near apoplectic levels on every song; The man is an utter dynamo (his performance on the superb 'Save Yourself' is brilliant), but of course its not a one man show. Guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek 'The Skull' Tailer are in top form throughout, the former providing some drop-dead lead work when called upon, whilst the rhythm section of DD Verni and Ron Lipnicki are rock solid yet lightning fast, often both at the same time.
This is thrash Metal from another time. There's been no cross pollination of musical styles here, and Ellsworth sings throughout, never feeling the need to resort to death Metal growling when a baleful spit gets his point across perfectly well. In that respect 'The Electric Age' is a resolutely old-fashioned record, much like its predecessor 'Ironbound'. But the vitality of everything else connected to the record knocks any claims that this is old hat or rehash into a conveniently situated cocked hat.
And the fact that this record is far superior in thrash terms than anything the genre's 'big four' have come up with in years makes it an important, and more importantly very successful, addition to the thrash canon. Peerless stuff.
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