Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Toxic Holocaust – Chemistry Of Consciousness

I listen to, and like, a lot of metal that is way out on the extreme edge of things.  Stuff that even people who like metal find a little “out there”.  Not to say that this isn't metal, or it isn't heavy, but this is the kind of metal I listen to when I need a little break, when I need to come up for air, and remember that we don't all live in the dankest, darkest recesses of the human psyche.

Yeah, I go for a band called Toxic Holocaust when I need to lighten things up.  That's just me.  You can call this punky thrash, or thrashy punk, and it's kinda six of one, half a dozen of the other.  What I call it is good.  This is a band, or more precisely a guy, Joel Grind, who just keeps refining what he does, getting a little better with each tour, each album.  He's able to bring us a clearer picture of this music each time out.  And he's even changed his lyrical subjects a little on this one.  There's a little more of his politics and world view on this one.  I like that, I like to know a little bit of what goes on in the minds of artists.

The one thing I really appreciate about this band is that the true spirit of thrash is here.  The songs that rip past in 2 or 3 minutes and then get on to the next one.  You can blat on about how great the Big 4 are, but they are far, far removed from the lifestyle that led them to write songs like this.  They write bloated over produced things now that bear little resemblance to what thrash really is.  But this album here, this is what thrash is all about.  An “epic” on this album is the one that just about reaches 4 minutes.  This is fun to listen to, this is music that, if you hear it in a club, you're drinking along to it.  You're moving, hell you might even have to step into the pit for a moment and really let go.  We all need music like this, so that we can just let loose when we need to.

Other than showing some cool progression in songwriting, lyrical content, and just ass kicking in general, there is no groundbreaking stuff on this album.  And there doesn't have to be.  There is a lot to be said for a good, solid album that brings you just what you expect from a band or a genre.  Quality and skill are always appreciated.  That is what Mr. Grind brings us here.  This is an album that you can put on when you need to give the party a little kick in the pants, when you need to start that one man circle pit in your living room, when you want your cats to rage with you.

I'm probably going back to the depths soon and see what other interesting things I can drag into the light of day for you, but for a moment it's fun just to bang my head and not get too blackened.  Put this one on and shotgun some PBR's.  You'll feel a whole lot better real quick. 


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