I don’t know how they do it, but from “Come and Get It” to the closing notes of “Good Night” I was given almost no time to catch my breath from Overkill’s thrash attack. To be honest, I am completely fine with that. I found that the only tiffs I had with the album were a couple of the song titles (i.e. “Electric Rattlesnake“) and that there were only ten tracks. With that said, if that is the only problem a band has on their album… then they wrote a solid, if not great, album. So lets dip into some of the tracks that really got my head banging.
The aforementioned track, “Electric Rattlesnake“, has one of the silliest titles on the album, but rocks you hard until the closing seconds. There really is everything in this song that can make a thrash fan like myself go ape shit. I got the typical thrash beat on the drums from Ron Lipnicki, a good foundation to any thrash song. Next is the killer vocals and range on the 52 year old thrash veteran, Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth. Bobby continues to show why he’s one of the best in the genre and continues to beat out the competition. The guitar tandem of Dave and Derek also work great throughout the album but really come out nicely on this track. The pre-chorus guitar hook is extremely catchy while the leads throughout the song get even the most unexperienced air guitarists whaling on their invisible instruments. Then the solos in the track literally made my face feel numb and I thought my face was melting! I’ve heard they are playing this song live on their recent tour so if you are lucky enough to check them out, be ready for this killer track!
Black Daze is another track that really punched me in the head when I first listened to it. Where most Overkill tracks focus on the sheer speed of their instrumentals, this track really slows things down. The guitar riff has such a hammering effect to it that you really don’t stop banging your head through the whole track. To be able to switch some things up and not just write the same tracks over and over again is another reason why Overkill is such a successful band. Moreover, this versatility in the creative area also proves that they aren’t calling it quits anytime soon.
Clocking in at just under 6:30, “Drop the Hammer Down” has become one of my favorites off the whole album. The track changes so much in it’s 6+ minutes of pure thrash gold. First we start off with a “charge up” feeling intro that blows right into the main riff of the song. Then the chorus hits and I felt the riffs here were some of the most memorable off the album. After another verse and chorus, the song seems to pick up a bit and I could feel a circle pit growing around me in my room… no I am not schizophrenic. Right after that episode, the leads change from what sounds almost like Death Angel right back into more of a straight forward Overkill riff of pure thrashing goodness. Then it hits you, the song slows waaaaaayy down only for a blistering solo to grace your ears. Then at the 5 minute mark, the song picks back up again to another verse/chorus pattern before it finishes strong.
As I stated earlier, I really don’t have any complaints with this Overkill album. Does it beat Ironbound? Well, I really can’t answer that, at least right now. The Electric Age is one of the better Overkill albums without a doubt, maybe not their best of all, but certainly a great album. Putting the comparisons aside for now, Overkill still brings it even after 32 friggen years! If you like any thrash metal at all, do yourself a favor, pick up this album and listen to what thrash is supposed to sound like. Give the Big 4 a break for awhile and check out what other hidden gems you can find. I already found this one for you.