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'Anvil Is Anvil'
(Steamhammer Records)
Release Date: Friday 26th February 2016

Johnny Main

johnny main


Anvil are a legendary band from Toronto, Ontario who were originally formed in 1978 by Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner. In their career the band have released fifteen albums as well as being cited as having influenced many notable Heavy Metal groups, including Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax and Metallica.

Of course the band are probably best known these days for their 2008 documentary 'Anvil! The Story of Anvil' which was directed by the screenwriter and former Anvil roadie, Sacha Gervasi.

This film catapulted the band back into the spotlight as it garnered critical acclaim from publications around the world and led the band to support the likes of AC/DC, Alice Cooper and Saxon as well as make appearances at festivals across the world including Download in the UK, Japan's Loud Park and France's Hellfest.

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'Anvil Is Anvil' is album number sixteen for the band and it shows that they are still living the dream and have produced a great album. 'Daggers And Rum' kicks things off and see the band with their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks is this pirate-themed ditty. This isn't exactly the 'Pirate Metal' characterized by Scottish band Alestorm, but it's a great song nonetheless.

There are some simple but solid drums from Reiner along with a boisterous easy to remember chorus and not too mention the odd bit of infantile humour with the lyrics. Harmless fun sure, but at the same time it's very enjoyable.

The same can't be said for 'Gun Control', which on the other hand is about a much more serious subject. "Do we need some gun control?" is the central question in the lyrics, with the band exploring the different sides of the argument in an objective way. It's a serious song and the constant deserves, but that doesn't stop Kudlow playing a great solo as Reiner earnestly keeps the beat solid at the back.

Not leaving out Bass player Chris Robertson, he gets his moment in the spotlight during the intro to 'Zombie Apocalypse' before it settles down into a good mid paced number. There's a solid vocal from Kudlow while his guitar riff dominates the overall sound. Reiner too gets a quick drum fill during the middle section but this song is all about the guitar - especially during Kudlow's show stopping solo.


One of the album's highlights for me is the fast paced 'Runaway Train', which is reflected in the subject matter somewhat. Kudlow does well with the wordy verses and he holds the notes well during the chorus before another limelight stealing guitar solo.

This album really sounds like it's a band having a lot of fun in the process of creating some great music. It's all here – funny and serious songs, fast and slower tempo numbers, and it shows that Anvil aren't running short on ideas and just churning out the same old albums time and again.

There's plenty of life left in the band and as long as they continue with their drive and enthusiasm, then we can expect plenty more from the band, I'm sure.

You can see the lyric video for 'Die For A Lie' here:

You can see Anvil live here:
Thursday 7th April – Razzmatazz 2, Barcelona (with Udo Dirkschneider)
Tuesday 19th April – O2 Academy Islington (with Udo Dirkschneider)
Saturday 23rd April – Eventzentrum Geislewind, Geiselwind
Friday 13th May – Brighton Bar, Long Branch
Saturday 14th May – Black Bear Bar, Brooklyn
Wednesday 18th May – Brauer House, Lombard, IL, US
Saturday 21st May – Metro Bar Slc, Salt Lake City
Friday 27th May – El Corazon, Seattle
Wednesday 1st June – Whisky A Go Go, West Hollywood
Friday 3rd June – Brick By Brick, San Diego
Thursday 9th June – Gas Monkey Bar N Grill, Dallas
Sunday 12th June – Southport Music Hall, Jefferson
Thursday 16th June – The Southgate House Revival - The Sanctuary, Newport
Friday 17th June – The 5th Quarter Lounge, Indianapolis
Saturday 18th June – The Foundry (hifi), Lakewood (with Destructor)

'Anvil Is Anvil' Track Listing:
Daggers And Rum
Up, Down, Sideways
Gun Control
Die For A Lie
Runaway Train
Zombie Apocalypse
It's Your Move
Fire On The Highway
Run Like Hell
Forgive Don't Forget

Anvil are:
Steve "Lips" Kudlow – Vocals/Guitar
Chris Robertson – Bass Guitar
Robb "Robbo" Reiner – Drums

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