ANTHRAX: All for the Cause: CD

Not to be confused with the U.S. heavy metal band of the same name, this Anthrax was a U.K. anarcho punk band active during that sub-scene’s prime era, circa 1980-‘84. During that period, they released two EPs and a number of compilation tracks rich with the musical and lyrical influence of noisy peers like Crass and Conflict, yet maintaining a personality of their own. Some thirty-two years down the road, they’ve self-released their first bona fide full-length, nattily packaged in a brown envelope with a lyric booklet, a poster of the cover art by “The Tasty M,” and a CD featuring all new material. They can still kick up dust with the best of ‘em, but there’s also a slightly more modern U.K. “street punk” feel in places. Lyrically, they remain as astute as ever, with commentary on the futility of war and the greed of those who profit from them, austerity, the evils of capitalism and the consumerist mentality that feeds it, and even an introspective critique of punk’s apparent misplacement of its purpose and/or its soul. Many of these “old bands give it another go” releases are abysmal exercises in ego stroking and demonstrations at how horribly songwriting skills can degenerate when a band forgets what it’s about. This isn’t one of ‘em. Much respect due, much respect given, and here’s hoping this ain’t just a one-off.

 –jimmy (Anthrax,