Maximum Overdrive (1986)
Everything ends as the survivors leave on a sailboat to an island with no motors or electricity. Which also means no amplifiers. Just bongos and ukuleles. With every machine possessed and/or controlled by a UFO, tough to say where human spark plug Angus Young would fit into this world. Would he shrivel up or can he alone communicate with the spaceship, speak their language, an ally to the invading electrical currents? When a wasted Stephen King asked Angus on MTV about how it went scoring the film he said: “Well it wus suhtanlay diff’runt.” King directed from his own short story, Trucks, and Who Made Who came out as the soundtrack that was really a clipped greatest hits comp featuring two new instrumentals “D.T.” and “Chase The Ace” which are featured as transition jams throughout the film, but there’s also a ton of short solo Angus stuff, bass plunk, and one effect that sounds like Brian Johnson’s screech being looped into the Psycho shower stab. Great stuff.
Nerds floated some “complete” bootlegs but don’t hold out for an official re-upped version anytime soon since neither band nor King like the film much. Has it’s moments: the truck explosions, the video arcade electrocuting that dude, the little league coach getting slayed by a projectile soda can. Also when Joey is on the shitter and Bill asks him: “Does Bubba really got a lot of firepower in the cellar?” And Joey replies in trepidation “Yeeah,” just as he drops a turd explosion: “Plllfffrrripp!” Later, a very mysterious moment comes when waitresses, truckers, and young lovers are all trapped in the diner at night, their driverless vehicles circling like lions and the beer running out. “Ride On” comes on as they drink and look out the window. But the song must be playing in their heads since the machines already cut the electricity and the jukebox wasn’t working. In fact the best scene might be that one when the jukebox explodes halfway through the chorus of “Sink The Pink” and this really bums everyone out, just as trucker #3 says “The whole world’s gone tits up.” Tell me bout it. [AG]
More soundtracks and horror inside Chips & Beer #4
Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand
Whether you consider it a disadvantage or not, the first thing that must be said about Primordial’s latest is that it is not To The Nameless Dead Pt. II. A record still so near and often returned to by this writer that another album, even more than three years later, seems too soon to confront. The Dublin-based group’s seventh record, Redemption at the Puritan’s Hand sounds the most traditionally Irish of all their records thus far, feeling at times almost more of a folk album by comparison. Not “Folk Metal,” which is really just a catchall term for chintzy European grandfather rock you can dance to while singing about trolls, but music with a story, communicated to you directly, bridging past and present and bringing you into a close correspondence with the performers. I don’t currently know of or could imagine many bands that could juggle the simultaneous grandiosity, the massiveness of such music and yet sound as intimate. With such qualities Primordial have often subverted any and all tags placed on them which would halt engagement by misunderstanding. That achievement again made possible here by the more explicit influence of THIN LIZZY throughout the galloping twin melodies of guitarists Ciáran MacUiliam and Micheál O’Floinn, and the more moderate pace of drummer Simon O’Laoghaire, returning to the group after a well-publicized drinksoaked incident in Athens.
Consider the performances here sobering in more ways than one as vocalist Alan Averill, here sounding all of the dramatic showman you would expect from Rob Halford (the resemblance in the lower range is uncanny, particularly in “Bloodied Yet Unbowed”), offers thoughts poetic and undisguised among the words of other writers and activists now departed; a talent for articulation that rewards more often than not. (There are moments where words merely stifle the prospect of a song – “The Black Hundred” – and then there are moments when all it takes is a word emphasized perfectly). Gazing on the refurbished Momento Mori adorning the cover, you might have already guessed the theme of this album has something to do with death, though as with much of Primordial’s work this is merely the star around which a host of other concerns – freedom, faith, reconciliation, salvation, damnation, determination, resignation – orbit. Opening track, “No Grave Deep Enough” is again the showcase for Averill’s magnificent phrasing, defiant before the claws and teeth of that which all men fear. To The Nameless Dead evoked the spirit of resistance while living amongst the ruins of a dying world. Now that strength is called upon again in preparation to leave the world behind and with profound resolve, suggests there still remains something even Death cannot steal. “So here’s to comrades near and far/Raised a glass, raised hell/Years have passed closer to the grave/But this is the song we chose to sing/To the bitter end.” [TD]