Stormtroopers Of Death

I'm a lazy SOD fan
*special introductory paragraph!
*Speak English Or Die
*Live At Budokan
*Bigger Than The Devil
*Seasoning The Obese 7"
*Rise Of The Infidels

NYC's Stormtroopers Of Death is an Anthrax/M.O.D./Nuclear Assault/Brutal Truth side project that rears its humorous metal head every seven years like clockwork oranges. You haven't lived 'til you've heard their classic Speak English Or Die LP and you haven't died 'til you've heard your heart stop beating and your brain functions cease.

Just FYI, I mean.


* Speak English Or Die - Megaforce 1985 *
Rating = 10

If, like me, you have obsessive-compulsive disorder, then you know how hard it is to play the stereo at any volume other than that which your brain has pre-designated as "the correct volume." In my case, vinyl albums must be played at -36, unless my wife has fallen asleep on the couch in which case it must be -38, or if it's the morning and my wife is still asleep upstairs, it goes down to -40. If it's a spoken-word album - well, you know how hard it is to hear spoken words sometimes, so those must be played at -34 (or -36 if wife couch, -38 morning wife asleep). CDs on the other hand tend to play louder on our stereo for some reason, so they must be played at -44 (or -46 couch, -48 morning, -44 spoken word). Concert CDs, bootlegs and home recordings are often kinda muffled so they must be brought all the way up to -42 (or -44 couch, -46 morning, -40 spoken word). And of course everything gets blown to pieces when you bring cassettes and 7-inches into the mix. So you know how hard it is, especially when a CD is mixed either really quietly (in which case I pretend I don't notice that I can't hear a goddamned thing that's happening) or really loudly (an uncomfortable situation that usually results in my wife leaving the room). Oh! I forgot - if I'm sitting on the couch reading a book or eating pizza, everything must be turned down a notch (-2) as well, because the couch is right next to the speakers and otherwise I'd get a headache. Oh! And if I have a headache, everything must go down one notch (-2) as well. See, it's a very well-calibrated system that doesn't make any sense and doesn't work at all, but I just have a strong fear that I would deafen my sweet doggy Henry if I didn't at least TRY to control the volume of noise in our shared homestead. It's totally OCD though, and I need to get over it. Maybe I'll start weening myself off the system tonight, now that I've recognized it as OCD. Before writing it all out like this, I just assumed that I was a brilliant and attractive scientist.

What I'm getting to here is that at one point, Speak English Or Die! was the loudest album I'd ever heard. I don't know what the CD sounds like, but the vinyl is mixed really REALLY ear-festeringly loud. And that's good! Because it's a candlewicker lightflicker nagbicker asskicker! Intended as an outlet for Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian's hardcore punk leanings, it combines the most raw and brutal (un-detuned) guitar tone in history with Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante's high-speed thrasher beats, former Anthrax/current Nuclear Assault/future Brutal Truth bassist Dan Lilker's distorted death bass, and future M.O.D. founder Billy Milano's charismatic spoken/shouted punk vocals. The lyrics are offensive and hilarious, the songs are loud, fast and short (the longest is only 2:29!), the mood is fun but not at the expense of the ass-kickery, and the riffs are super-catchy collections of sick skater thrash chords played tightly, expertly and faster than a speeding ballet.

This is the sound of hyperactive crossover youth at a crucial time in the history of extreme metal. As bands like Suicidal Tendencies and DRI began combining the straightforward speed of hardcore with the heavier, tighter "jigga-jigga-jigga" guitar style of metal, a whole nation of kids couldn't figure out what to do with their hair. This album is the soundtrack for that hair.

Sample offensive yet funny lyrics:

From "Sargent D & The S.O.D." - "He'll kill your sister, then mail back the tits/He'll beat you senseless, then break out the whips.... He'll put the gas on your kids, then throw them a match/He'll back the car over Grandma, then dissect her cat." Ha!

From "Kill Yourself" - "Take a dirt nap, buy the farm/Inject a bubble in your arm.... You're a loser, there's nothing left for you/A worthless loser, at everything you do" Hat!

From the title track: "Nice fuckin' accents/Why can't you speak like me?/What's that dot on your head/Do you use it to see??" Hate!

From "Douche Crew," a great song making fun of the DC hardcore scene: "You make your bed you lay in/I bet it's made of shit/You think you're all so macho/I bet you all have clits." Hated! The GG Allin Story

On the musical tip, most of these songs -- as short as they are -- generally still include both midtempo headbang/mosh portions and faster-than-fast slamdance thrash segments. What thrills me about a lot of the riffs is that at this point in his life, Scott Ian was like the God King of truly SICK thrash songwriting. Check out the near-instrumentals "March Of The S.O.D.," "Chromatic Death" and "Pre-Menstrual Princess Blues" for the sound of a warped songwriting mind. Actually, I'm pretty sure one of these weirdo twisted riffs was the theme to MTV's Headbanger's Ball for a while, so you know it must be BRUTAL, HEAVY AND HARDCORE like Rikki Rachtman. Other brainy S.O.D. musicianship comes in the form of Charlie's hilariously noisy blastbeats during "Milk," Scott's "chainsaw starting up" VRASH VRASH upwards chord jerking in "Pussywhipped" and the killer TRUE METAL riff of "Freddy Krueger." Every track on here is worth hearing, and at most you may be bored by, oh... one of them? "Fist Banging Mania" has a few too many slow parts, but it's over in two minutes so it's hard to complain too much. Especially since it doesn't matter at all. It's not like the slow parts in "Fist Banging Mania" are going to break into your home and murder your family. Stop complaining about things that donít matter. That's my message to the world.

And no review of Splash Donuts Or Ear! would be compleat without a mention of the tiny comedy songs. "What's That Noise?" belongs on every Dr. Demento album, but has been accepted by none of them. Thanks for all your help, Gary Farber or whatever your real name is, Dr. Demento! (Asshole!) You see, the song is about a noise that keeps showing up on the track -- a swishy, distorted wind noise that upsets Billy Milano so much that he screams, yells and eventually storms out of the studio. It's funny! "WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT NOISE??? STOP PLAYING IT! STOP PLAYING! ALEX! WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT FUCKING NOISE???" But see, it's not real. Billy is acting! It's just a joke! And you thought Billy Milano was but a minor thespian. You were WRONG! He was also great in his role as Susan Sarandon in Dead Man Walking.

Other tiny songs include the 5-second "Hey Gordy," 4-second "Ballad Of Jimi Hendrix" (the guitar intro to "Purple Haze" followed by the statement "You're dead"), 3-second "Anti-Procrastination Song" and 2-second "Diamonds And Rust (Extended Version)." Had I been in the band, I would have drafted a 1-second track entitled "Billy Joel's Finest Compositions (Medley)," but I give you no guarantees that the rest of the band would have agreed to include it on the record. You know fuckin' Dan Lilker. Always has to have his way. They don't call him "Dan Lilker The Can Milker" for no cation.

This may be a character that went extinct in my youth, but if there still exist any hardcore punk fans who think they don't like metal, do them a favor and make them sit through this one. An all-time classic of rude, crude, loud, proud, fast, furious surfer/skater thrash with shouted punker vocals, it will have you laughing, moshing, washing and wishing the mid-80s would come back. Especially Ronald Reagan, 'cuz he's the coolest. They called him the "Teflon President" because he really cleaned up this nation, like Teflon cleans a pan.

Reader Comments

dfi1999@yahoo.com
THIS was the album that fused punk and metal in the way that grunge was supposed to have a few years later. Even some of the more dogmatic leftist punks hide this gem in their collection.

And it's no accident regarding the volume. I've looked at these songs on Soundforge, and instead of the usual /\/\/\/\/\/ wave frequencies, these tracks are pure bricks, which means it's been mastered to push as much output as possible.

Check out the live in Japan bonus tracks too - performing "Speak English or Die"... in JAPAN?!?

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Live At Budokan - Megaforce 1992
Rating = 9

Recorded LIVE! in NYC seven years after the album came out, this LIVE! S.O.D. release finds the band reuniting at the exact moment in time when (a) Anthrax was about to toss out hair metaller Joey Belladonna and replace him and his thrash with Armored Saint's John Bush and a more modern grunge-metal sound, (b) M.O.D. had either just released or was about to release Rhythm Of Fear, their last non-absolutely atrocious record for a full decade, and (c) Dan Lilker has just quit thrash semi-legends Nuclear Assault to devote himself full time to death metallers Brutal Truth. With all this stress and struggle under the scenes, a goodtime reunion was just what the doctor ordered for dinner!

Live At Budokan features a much bassier guitar tone than Speak English Or Die -- one that doesn't scream at you to MOSH MOSH MOSH like the flamethrowing VOOOOOOOOOSH of the studio release. Sadly in fact, the flaccid, impotent guitars (all soft and curved downwards, sticking uncomfortably to the hairy sloshy distortion pedals) are often drowned out by the drums and vocals. But the band still kicks tight ass and it's all the same songs so how can it not be great? Don't you like songs for the songs? I do, especially the melodies, lyrics, vocals and other things. Like if birds are in it, I like the birds. Same with dead people and tangerines. Also totem poles.

Billy talks to the crowd a lot on this LIVE! recording, especially asking them not to beat each other up too hard and to be careful about rushing the barrier because it might fall on them. The only tracks from Speak English To Ducks! that went unperformed on this warm wintry eve were the tart-n-tiny "Anti-Procrastination Song," "Hey Gordy" and "Diamonds And Rust" (replaced by NEW tart-n-tinies "Momo," "The Camel Boy" and "Vitality"), the unperformable "What's That Noise" and the -- why on Earth would they skip "Pre-Menstrual Princess Blues"? That's a great thrash song! Did Billy just not want to shriek in that high voice? Werdi! Werdi indeed since at one point before one of the FIVE cover tunes they perform, one of the musicians tells the audience, "See, we only did like a 23-minute album so we gotta find other songs to play." Well, I've got one for you. How about "Pre-Menstrual Princess Blues?" That's what I would have said had I been there that day. Unfortunately it was 1992 so I was in college wearing bright colorful Jams with pictures of flowers and fruit all over them (I thought they were "funny"), shaving my head on the sides even though the rest of my hair went down to my ass (I thought it was "cool"), and having absolutely no idea why girls didn't pursue me like a horse to butter (I thought they were "lesbos"). Oh - I also didn't use soap. No no, hear me out! I didn't like how it made my skin feel, and I figured water and deodorant were all I needed to smell fresh and warm. Plus the one time I tried to use it, a huge lump got stuck in my ear and I walked around with it there all day, looking to all the world like the most horrifying glob of ear wax in American History. Also Statistics, the class I had after American History. Shockingly, I didn't get "laid" (sex) until I was 21, and by then my sperm had already evolved into fish, monkeys and finally man. Imagine my then-sister's surprise when I reached my crisis and a grown man in a business suit came walking out of my penis with an umbrella. My point is that there is no way I could have been at S.O.D.'s reunion performance to request "Pre-Menstrual Princess Blues." I was really counting on YOU to do that for me, because you're a lot older and have a car.

And find they do, other songs-esque-wise! (in reference to the musician's statement about needing to find other songs to play). Non-S.O.D.-penned musical performances of note include Fear's "I Love Living In The City," M.O.D.'s "Get A Real Job," Nirvana's "Territorial Pissings" (with Charlie Benante on guitar and Billy reading the lyrics off of a sheet of paper) and a charismatic medley of Ministry's "Stigmata" and "Thieves" (with Billy performing the opening samples: "Hoo!" "Get up! Get on your feet!"). Other exciting tales of woe include the beginning of Slayer's "Raining Blood" right spanking the monkey middle of "Speak Dangly Or Eat!"

If I were going to make any complaints - and I'm not going to, I've decided - it would be that the new "tiny" songs are pointless inside jokes, "The Ballad Of Jimi Hendrix" isn't funny when Billy screams "YOU'RE DEAD!" instead of just muttering it as an aside like in the original, and "United Forces" loses about half of its power when nobody bothers saying "Forces." "United!....United!....United!...." Here's my one-liner: "What is this, an airline commercial?" HAH AHAH!H!HAHHAH!H!HHAHAHAH!H!H!HAHHAHAHAH!H!H!HAHAHAHHAHH!H!!HHAHAHAHAHH!!H!HHAHAHAHAHAH!H!HH!HHAHAHAHAHAAHH!H!H!H!HAHHAHAHAHHH!H!H!H!HAHHAHAHAAHH!H!H!H!HAHAHHAHAAH!H!H

Look, if they sold laugh tracks for computer text I wouldn't have to do that all the time. Come on somebody with glasses - quit looking at naked ladies on PowerPoint and design me a laughing program. I'm lookin' at you, that guy who played the nerd on Head Of The Class!

Reader Comments

CAAvakian@scif.com (METALCHRISTI)
SOD, LIVE AT BUDOKAN is, by far, The Best album ever, with the exception or shall I say "addition" of "bigger than the devil" !

I JUST LOVE YOUR REVIEWS! THE SOD REVIEWS ARE BEST! You hit the core of the truth on this review, and I THANK YOU!!! Most kids now dont even know who the f*ck SOD is, so then i test their knowledge and say...ever hear of scott ian? anthrax? no? well what about Randy Rhoads? NO? Aw hell! lol, i think its sad that some kids today dont know about all this, and I think your reviews help a lot, EXCELLENT, MY DEAR, PURE EXCELLENCE!!!

I've been in the metal scene since i could walk, and have many friends at metalblade, century media, nuclear blast, etc etc the list goes on. I do photography and film (not professionally, mostly for fun and my own viewing and for the memories of it all, so I can enjoy my memories of my shows forever and share them with others) and while i do work the 8-5 "real job" my main source of fun in my life is going to concerts and moshing it up (yes, still at 33) and now meeting all my "rockstars" i've idolly worshipped for years.

This year, meeting Iommi, and Dio, ward and mr. butler, was probaby the most memorable time of my life. WHAT NICE GUYS these guys are. They truly are METAL GODS. Maiden was there this year too, met them (wow) but still have never met belladonna, ian, or any of my idols from my favorite bands, SOD and ANTHRAX. (AH maybe some day, and I know Mr. Belladonna is now touring with his "NEW BAND?" But I dont know who they are. However, I will be looking out for that tour. OH F*CK YEAH!

Anyway, i just found your review sites today at work, while surfing on my break. And let me compliment you one last time before I go, by saying "THANK YOU, YOU TRULY ROCK" for taking all this time to do all this good work and to share it with the world.

Much respect,

XOXO

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Bigger Than The Devil - Nuclear Blast 1999
Rating = 7

Seven years later, S.O.D. reunited at another important time in everybody's career - Brutal Truth had completed their final record and were preparing for a tearful breakup, Anthrax had just released their second stinker in a row (Volume 8: The Threat Is Real) and M.O.D. were in the crapper toilet of garbage. But see, the main reason that the Stormwindows of Girth were great in the first place is because they were a young youthful excitement ball of naive carefree 'look what we can do!' energy. An old person version of SOG (SOD) could NEVER stand up to the original, especially since NONE of these artists actually played thrash anymore! The result is a CD of detuned, pristinely mixed, heavy, predictable modern metal. They TRY to play fast and thrashy, but the riffs they come up with are just very basic and tired -- not at all the demented genius of Wear Spandex And Dance. There's nothing special or charming about these songs, especially since Billy's voice has deteriorated into an uncharismatic beardy-faced Pantera scream. So don't expect a return to the surf skate speed punker insanity of the first record; these guys don't even remember how they did it in the first place.

HOWEVER!!!! That which I just spoke of refers only to the "serious" songs (of which there are too many, quite frankly, mostly involving Milano defending his selfishness). The funny songs on here are a goshdarn SCREAM! The humor is more varied and thoughtful this time out, and when it works, it works like the dickens. It's THESE tracks that save the record, differentiate it from thousands of other modern metal also-rans, and suggest that SOD haven't become just another bunch of generic geriatrics. And now I'd like to turn the keyboard over to Steve Hilarious for some examples.

Hi! I'm Steve Hilarious! Here's a joke for you: What do you get when you cross the Pope, Terri Schiavo and that comedian that just died?

A: Three Dog Night! Heh heh. Yes, as a popular live act entertainer showbiz comedian Vegas nightshow club magician, I've had many chances to see Stormtroopers Of Death in action, and on this event, their jokesmithery was truly on fire. I'll give you a few examples, but first a little joke. As he lay on his deathbed preparing to cast his lot into the great unknown, what were the Pope's last words?

A: "April Fool's! I never believed in God in the first place! Eat my dinger!" Heh heh. Yes, it's time we all sat down together for a discussion of life and death. Here, I'll bring the jokes. As she lay dying in her deathbed preparing to cast her lot into the great unknown, what were Terri Schiavo's last words?

A: "I wish my fuckin' parents would give the networks some RECENT video footage. I've been able to speak and walk around for the last year and half!" Yes, jokes are how we all deal with grief in life, for without humor, our hearts would become hardened and saddened by the constant strain of yesterday's heartache and tomorrow's stressors. So here's another joke: As he lay dying on his deathbed preparing to cast his lot into the great unknown, what were that comedian that just died's last words?

A: "So I says to the guy, 'EEEEHHH (*dies*)" You see, we can't all live forever, nor can we expect our loved ones to live forever. But what we CAN do is try to ensure the greatest amount of happiness possible in the short time we have. Here are a few simple ways to do just that for ourselves and each other:

1) When a problem arises, don't drive yourself bonkers worrying about it. Instead of wasting time and energy worrying and feeling bad, look at the problem head on with a clear mind and ask yourself, "Is this something I can fix?" If it IS something you can fix, devote your energy to working out a solution. If it's NOT something you can fix, it does you no good to worry, so accept it and try to move on to other things. I realize that this isn't a way to deal with HUGE problems, like a death or something. But it works very well for everyday stressors, and I do it often. With your WIFE! Ha ha! No, I'm kidding.

2) Try not to take your stress and anger out on those close to you. I know that when you spend all day getting pushed around by your asshole boss and your jerkass teachers, it can be hard to relax and enjoy a home life with a mother who keeps asking how your day was or a wife who keeps asking for a rim job, but you have to remember -- your bad mood is NOT THEIR FAULT. They deserve not to be treated like shit by you just because you're too much of a pussy to stand up for yourself at work or school. These people, unlike your worthless shit-eating teachers and dick-up-his-ass boss, are your FRIENDS. Your SUPPORT. Appreciate them, welcome them and give them rim jobs.

3) I have a lot of trouble with this next one, but maybe you'll be able to pull it off: Try to BE HERE NOW, as Oasis or Loop might say. I think Oasis said it; I could be wrong about that. Loop did though. But the point is that if you spend all day feeling down and shitty because you have to go to fuckin' Tae Kwon Do at 7:55 at night, man that's no way to live. You gotta be here now in the moment and enjoy walking Henry The Dog to the park in the morning and seeing him smile and gallop around like a little horsey. You gotta BE HERE NOW and not worry about chores and horseballs you have to take care of later. You can BE THERE THEN, but right now is now, so BE HERE NOW. Don't forget to save for college or retirement though, even though that's NOT NOW.

4) Realize how good you really have it, and how small your troubles truly are in the grand scheme of things. The grand scheme of things is as follows: You are one type of mammal on a planet filled with not only millions of other mammals of your type, but also millions of other TYPES of mammals, and in fact millions of other living beings that are NON-mammals. Every living being on this planet is temporary and will one day cease existence. This planet itself is only one teeny tiny segment of an ass-large and ever-expanding universe full of millions and millions of suns, rocks, planets and all sorts of crazy celestial things. There may also be other universes we haven't yet been able to observe. In addition, there may be larger intelligence forms that we lack the capacity to understand. As such, if you accidentally drop your ice cream cone or get all wet in the rain because you forgot your umbrella... who fucking cares? Calm down. No matter how big a deal Jews will try to make out of it, most everyday shit just doesn't matter. Ha ha! But I kid the Jews! Bar mitzvah? Oi! I've got shlemekel in my hashspleckel!

5) Here are some examples of the comedy to be found on this record:

-- "The Crackhead Song" - I can't quite make out the lyrics, but I know they involve something violent or stupid because (a) the band keeps veering back and forth between slow metal and painfully speedy grindcore, and (b) at the end, if you get really close to the speaker, you can hear Billy REALLY quietly say, "It's not like I'm recommending it though!"

-- "Skool Bus" - The entire band makes dumb "retarded" voices, then it all gives way to blastbeats and screaming. Ha!

- "King At The King/Evil Is In" - You will bust an American gut at this parody of black metal -- not only does the middle section feature a pitch-perfect imitation of Burzum-style superfast single-string thrashing and Billy whispering "Eeeeee-vil!," but the lyrics involve a white makeup-faced Norwegian Viking Pagan believer who burns churches and spreads wickedness all night.... only to have to go to work at Burger King the next day. Final line: "Evil, hell, Satan, goat, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun"

-- "Celtic Frosted Flakes" - Witty as shit jab at old thrashers Celtic Frost. "Hey Scott!" "Yeah, what's up?" "Remember that band from Sweden?" "Uhh, I think they were from Switzerland...." Atop a funny 'dipsy-doodle' guitar hook, Billy then sings such riotous 'perhaps some metal bands take themselves too seriously' lyrics as: "Tom Warrior is waiting for the emperor's return/Martin Ain's trapped in the circle of tyrants/Reed St. mark was blinded in the crypt of rays/Where he remains 'till this day."

-- "Charlie Don't Cheat" - Eyegougingly speedy blastbeats accompany this song whose lyrics involve... how fast S.O.D.'s drummer can play!

-- "The Song That Don't Go Fast" - This one had me on the floor last night. It's this dull slow metal riff played over and over and over again as Billy talks about how slow and boring it is and the other guys listlessly chant, "Hey. Hey. Hey." This in and of itself is okay, but the REAL kick in the ass comes after the verse is complete, when things start picking up and gathering steam, Billy excitedly shouts, "Oh yeah - here we go! Get ready!" and the drum rolls intensify, clearly foreshadowing a tempo-bruising ass-kicking to come. The guitars gear up, you get your arms ready to slam and.... it gets slow again.

"Fugu" - The dumbest teensy song yet? Billy says "Fugu" in a dumb voice, the guitarist plays two high stupid notes, Billy says "Fugu" again, song ends. !!!???

"Frankenstein And His Horse" - I've no clue what the hell this tiny faux-limerick is supposed to mean, but the notey bass, whispered vocals and weird guitar noises are adorable!

"Every Tiny Molecule" - Jazzy drums and a noisy bass accompany smoothie Billy as he weaves this tender tale about how whenever you inhale in the bathroom, you're ingesting somebody else's fecal matter in the air.

"L.A.T.K.C.H." - You got me what the initials stand for, but the "song" is hilarious! It's just like 15 seconds of blast-chords with Billy saying, "Yo!" "G!" "Phat!" "Dope!" (etc)

"Ballad Of Michael Hutchence" - "Ballad Of Jimi Hendrix" INXS-style.

"Ballad Of Phil H." - "Ballad Of Michael Hutchence" Simpsons-style.

So you see my good man, there is plenty of great comedy gaggery to be had here on Larger Than The Heavils. It's the actual *songs* that are less trustworthy and dynamic. The title track is four slow chords and Billy screaming like a tough guy (It does feature one really funny lyric though, in that it makes no sense at all: "I'm bigger than the devil -- combined with Schindler's List!"). Billy's anti-greenpeace rant "Black War" (Get it??? "Green" -- "Black"? "Peace" -- "War"? "Greenpeace" -- "Black War"???? HA AHAHHAH HAHAHAHAAH AHA A AHAHAHAHA lame) is a bunch of thump thump thump nothingness with the most annoying, endless group chant since "The Song That Don't Go Fast" -- but this time, they're SERIOUS! "Shenanigans" is the Ramones' "I Just Wanna Have Something To Do" chords (played differently, but same chords) repeated over and over and over, boring as sin, day and a nun all added up together. The others? Eh, they're okay. Not great though. Fast, slow, screaming. No real personality. For the record, I like the hypnotic thrasher "Kill The Assholes" and uber-metallic "Monkeys Rule," but it's not really important to mention that in the review. You can edit that part out when selling illegal Mark Prindle Record Review books on ebay. As long as the readers know that a full third of this disc is wasted on personality-less crud like "Make Room, Make Room," "We All Bleed Red" and "Moment Of Truth," I may sleep in peace with my mirror tonight.

One thing though -- I know that two of the songs on here are 'anti-racist,' but just who the hell is Billy talking about in "Monkeys Rule"? Check out these lyrics and tell me if you don't feel like you're in Montgomery, Alabama in the late '60s: "Most people I see are less human then an ape/Cranking babies out, like factories of hate/I hate it when I have to wake up from my fantasy/Where everybody works and pays taxes just like me.... Lock them in a cage like a monkey in a zoo/Stare at me and laugh, but I am telling you the truth/Lock them in a cage like a monkey in a zoo/We'll see who laughs last the day when monkeys rise to rule"

SHAME on you, Billy! At least have the tact to compare welfare recipients to... I don't know, leeches or sloths or something. But a MONKEY!? Christ, why not just call the song "Bunnies In The Jungle, Carrying Spears That They Keep Chucking Around (And They Have Big Lips)"?

Reader Comments

OSLANE@student.gvsu.edu
No mention of Roger Miret on "We All Bleed Red"??? Did you know Billy manages both Agnostic Front and Sick of it All?

When I listened to this album in high school, I didn't really pay attention to the lyrics, "Monkeys Rule" yikes, I thought it was actually about Planet of the Apes.

cordings@ihug.co.nz (Harry The Dead Poet)
When I read your reviews I laugh out loud and people look at me strangely. Stormwindows of Girth - brilliant!

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Seasoning The Obese 7" - Nuclear Blast 2000
Rating = 9

Apparently these two songs were included on the re-issue of Bigger Than The Devil, but I didn't hear them until just the other day, 2008, so please forgive me for taking this opportunity to rave about them.

"Seasoning The Obese" is a Slayer parody. A perfect Slayer parody. The slow chugging chord/2-note intro, the fast part, the slow breakdown middle, the doodly guitar runs, the dueling noise solos - and Billy Milano sounds exactly like Tom Araya! He even does a high-pitched scream! The lyrics involve the eating of a fellow human being, allowing for such hilarious vocal parodies as "The apple of my eye - is the apple in your mouth" and "DO YOU WANNA FRY?" Personally, I would have added "En-ter-To-The-Side-Of-Ba-Con!," but aside from that missed opportunity, this parody is so accurate that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was an actual Slayer song. More like "Stormtroopers of RUT" if you ask me!

Side B, "Raise Your Swords," is a Manowar parody. Like you, I'm not much of a Manowar fan. However, this corny midtempo hard rock riff (with majestic synths) is brilliantized by one of the funniest band-character assassinations in recent history. You know Manowar's schtick, right? Epic Viking Warrior Mythology, even though they're from New York? Hence Billy's lyrics like "Viking warriors are we/Born in the U.S. of A.!...Never sailed a Viking ship/Never seen the Icelandic tip...Hack & kill then kill some more!/Kill then hack, then hack and kill!/Blinded brothers lay inside/I gotta go - I'll miss my flight!" Funny stuff, and hilarious too. Also, witty.

I guess I'd better shut it up and update the site since I (once again) slept until 4:15 PM today. What is going on? Am I depressed? Is it just too dark outside? Is my body preparing for death? It's a little spooky.

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Rise Of The Infidels - Nuclear Blast 2007
Rating = 7

Eight years after unleashing Bigger Than The Devil onto the defenseless world, The Stormtroopers of Death return to the marketplace with a brand new live set featuring ONE SONG from Bigger Than The Devil! And it's like 10 seconds long!

So if you liked Live At Budokan, here it is again with different stage patter.

I'm exaggerating, but only slightly. The real selling points of this release are (a) four new studio songs preceding the concert, (b) four new "Ballad Of..."s, and (c) some hilarious Milano comments. So let's focus on those in the review currently under discussion.

(a) Four New Studio Songs:
/1/ "Stand Up And Fight" - Mean, heavy speed metal. A goody! Sounds like it should be on the new M.O.D. album.
/2/ "Java Amigo" - Simplified ripoff of Suicidal Tendencies' "You'll Be Sorry" that quickly degenerates into grindcore blastbeating. Not too good, but it's short and includes the line "All I want is coffee, you fuckin' yuppie dick!"
/3/ "United And Strong" - Agnostic Front cover. Great goddamned song.
/4/ "Ready To Fight" - Negative Approach cover. Slow, underwhelming song.

(b) Four New "Ballad Of..."s
/1/ "...Nirvana": "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Because the concert is in Seattle, they perform it twice. It's okay, I suppose. Not a whole lot to it.
/2/ "...Jim Morrison": "Roadhouse Blues" culminating with a hilarious BLOOOOOZE vocal. I love this one! Have you heard my song "DRUNK"? It's as if Billy Milano and I are of hive mind! Like a bee is!
/3/ "...Frank Sinatra": "New York, New York" culminating with an uproarious overblown Vegas croon vocal. Hilarious! One thing though: I'm almost positive that right before this song, a crowd member shouts, "You need to do 'The Ballad Of The Ramones'!" And sadly, he has a point.
/4/ "...Freddy Mercury": The "We Will Rock You" drumbeat, but with an out-of-place dissonant guitar chord for some reason, resulting in an inept wasted opportunity that's not exactly improved by Milano dedicating the song to a spitting audience member "cuz he was a bitch just like you!"

(c) Hilarious Milano Comments - Yes, he does say some really stupid things ("This one goes out to all the girls with big tits here tonight! 'Cuz big tits give 'Milk'!"), but every once in a while a priceless zinger will accidentally pop out. Here are a few.
/1/ (before "Fuck The Middle East") "In the immortal words of Robert Plant, 'This is a song of hope.' Release the white pigeons."
/2/ (to an attempted stagediver who falls off the stage) "Yo dude, fuckin' Kid Rock's next week."
/3/ (to a guy who stagedives as Billy's addressing the crowd) "What's up, dude? Wait for a song..... (fuckin moron)."
/4/ Crowd member: "Fuckin' play 'We All Bleed Red,' goddammit! That's what I came here for!" Billy: "Did you really? Well, you ain't fuckin leaving with it, dude."

As for the live set itself, the sound quality is atrocious, completely sucking all the power out of what was undoubtedly an ass-kicking performance. Charlie's drumming drowns out the entire first half of the concert, Scott's back-up vocal mic is louder than Billy's lead, and the master volume intermittently wavers in and out as if it were a bootleg tape. Also, I realize that Speak English Or Die! is an all-time classic, but couldn't they have at least played something from their second album, if only to differentiate this concert CD from their previous one? As evidenced by (c)/4/ above, there was clearly fan interest in the later material. Did the band just not remember how any of the songs went?

And still no "Pre-Menstrual Princess Blues"! What gives?

Why, we ALL give! America is a charitable nation.

Billy Milano claims that this will be the final S.O.D. release, but I'm not sure why he would say this since the band only gets together every seven years anyway. Did he have a falling-out with another band member or something? Somebody hide in a tree outside his house for a few weeks and let me know what you find out.

My Prediction: You'll find out he's a Republican. I know it sounds crazy! But hear me out -- see, in this one M.O.D. song, he s

Reader Comments

deftera@gmail.com
Yes there was a falling out. I'm surprized you don't know about it. They did Behind the Music on Anthrax and Scott and Charlie didn't give much credit to former bassist Dan Lilker and Milano stood up for him. More drama nonsence happened and I think he hates Scott and Charlie now. Do a search on blabbermouth, I'm sure you find more details.

OSLANE@student.gvsu.edu
Billy Milano and Scott Ian had a falling out of sorts a few years ago. Billy Milano felt cheated when Scott Ian didn't mention S.O.D. on Anthrax's Behind the Music episode.

I did some searching and all I could find was this interview with Billy Milano. http://www.sod-mod.com/interviews/My_interview_with_BillyMilano_Oct2004.htm

The interview dates back to Oct. 2004 and he talks about the upcoming S.O.D. live release that was recorded in Seattle and containing four new studio songs. He also says that Scott Ian is in love with Dimebag Darrel

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