Some old stuff, some new stuff in this week's edition of the shuffle:
Pantera, “Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks.” From the album Far Beyond Driven (1994). I differ from many Pantera fans in that Far Beyond Driven is my personal favorite. “Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks,” for some reason seems to come up a lot on my shuffles, though it’s not one of my favorites from the record. It’s still rock solid, though.
Gloryhammer, “The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee.” From the album Tales from the Kingdom of Fife (2013). Christopher Bowes of Alestorm fame is becoming a personal musical hero of mine, now having a little tongue-in-cheek fun with the heroic power metal genre. This song sets up the story of the band’s first album, with the evil sorcerer Zargothrax decimating Dundee with an unlikely army of undead unicorns. It’s a lot of fun with some great power metal chops to boot.
Annihilator, “Burns Like a Buzzsaw Blade.” From the album Alice in Hell (1989). So, yeah, every band in the 1980s had to have at least one sex song. This would be Annihilator’s, though it’s certainly a bit different than the others that were floating around in 1989. It’s fast, it’s vicious and it’s pure Annihilator.
Anthrax, “Strap It On.” From the album We’ve Come for You All (2003). I’ve always said this album is the most underrated in the Anthrax catalog, and this song is just a great, old-school hard rock tip of the hat to where the band comes from. It’s got a great hook and is infectious as hell.
Wayne Hancock, “Best to be Alone.” From the album Ride (2013). This one’s quite a left turn from the previous four tracks. As with most of Hancock’s music, it’s the most traditional of traditional country tunes, heavily influenced by Hank Williams. It’s a song of sorrow, but with such great guitar work and melody that it’s hard to walk away from it feeling sad.