Review: Anthrax – Anthems

Rated:

3.5/5

While thrashers Anthrax have written their fair share of headbanging classics, their biggest hits, at least on international radio, have been covers of songs by Public Enemy, Joe Jackson, and Trust. So recording a mostly covers EP (plus a remix of their own song “Crawl”) makes perfect sense, and Anthrax do it with gusto on Anthems. Frontman Joey Belladonna’s falsetto fits slick Big Rock Radio hits like Rush’s stuttering “Anthem” and Boston’s revved-up “Smokin’” perfectly, but it lacks the sweaty, blue-collar grit to sell AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” convincingly—though he sounds more haggard, and fittingly so, on Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak.” The EP’s triumph is Anthrax’s ultra-metal take on a song that would make most metalheads cringe: Journey’s “Keep On Runnin’.” The fact that guitarists Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano bring the noise on a song by freakin’ Journey suggests that if they dig their picks into their strings deep enough, they can add a pair of cast-metal balls to nearly any songs. KORY GROW