Review by Michael ‘MettleAngel’ Francisco: “Lips” and “Robbo” are back again with their 17th Anvil release; this being their second with bassist Chris Robertson. Even though Steve and Rob came up with the cover concept for Pounding The Pavement, Rob did not paint the jackhammer and anvil image.
I read a comment by Carl Canedy of The Rods praising this new endeavour as being their best effort in quite sometime. I was inclined to disagree, as I felt the lyrics and musicianship on Hope In Hell and Anvil Is Anvil, and Juggernaut were better than this latest offering.
Although, this is Anvil, so you already know what to expect, right? There are plenty of powerful riffs and solos, and with their trademak hard and heavy, speedy sound, fans should find this worth the wait.
The SPV CD digipak includes a full booklet and poster. The witty opener – “Bitch In The Box”, replete with its hysterical voice-overs – is not a mysoginist rant against women, but rather an expression of frustration with that annoying female voice of GPS; especially for a band like Anvil who drive themselves from show to show, and gig to gig. Most DIY bands and long distance drivers should relate.
We got a taste of “Ego” with the video late last year. This feels like a sequel to “Eat Your Words”. Songs such as this, “Smash Your Face”, “Doing What I Want” and the bonus track “Don’t Tell Me” reflect “Lips” knack for writing clever lyrics, with subtle, subjective commentary.
Incidentally, the Anvil Enterprises Digipak release also includes another track called “Spark It Up”. I have not heard this song, but I assume it is in the vein of “Smoking Green”. The runaway train of thought implied in “Black Smoke” is most likely another song about vehicles, for which their free as the wind mentality is quite fond; however, I also sense an uncanny bit about these Canucks’ favorite past time, as well.
I had no idea what “Nanook Of The North” was, but this inspired my veracity for veracity, and I learned all about this cult Canadian documentary. This is also the most unique standout track to be found here, as was “Daggers And Rum” on their last outing. This previous opener, however, did not see the band jumping on the Pirate Metal bandwagon, but was actually a song that Steve was asked to write for a “Pirates Of Penzance” type production, that unfortunately fell though.
The blatant sweet leads and opening Sabbathesque vibe of “World Of Tomorrow” make this the most derivative cut. Thankfully it is followed by “Warming Up” which upholds that Classic Old School appeal.
So there you have it, just as the lyrics for “Rock That Shit” evoke: Anvil are back to basics with their Metal and mettle tenacity. Pound for pound of the drums, Pounding The Pavement feels like another Anvil forged in fire; verifying that these old bastards still create some badass Rock ‘N’ Roll!
My rating: Score 86/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)