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Anvil
Plugged In Permanent
October 2014
Released: 1996, Hypnotic
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Editors Note: Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.



Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!



Anvil are so amusing and so true. I absolutely love the cover of PLUGGED IN PERMANENT, an anvil crushing an acoustic guitar. This keeps in the fine tradition the band has of not only the three word titles but of having an anvil on the front cover, preferably crushing something. It is also, in my opinion, a statement against the glut of MTV unplugged albums that were being released in the mid-90’s. Of course, the title is grammatically incorrect, it should be plugged in ‘permanently’, and it so characteristic of the loveable losers in Anvil to mess up a hilarious title with a spelling mistake. I always associate the album cover with the next album cover, ABSOLUTELY NO ALTERNATIVE, which is of course an anvil crushing a stereo and making a statement against alternative rock that ruled the airwaves at the time.



PLUGGED IN PERMANENT is a fine return to form with some changes in the band. After a four-year break, the longest period of inactivity in the bands career, the band changes record labels making the jump from the Dutch label Mausoleum to a long and productive relationship with Massacre Records. The Canadian pressing were licensed to short-lived Canadian Hypnotic Records so there are various versions floating around for you Anvil collectors. In addition the band dropped two members and added Ivan Hurd on second guitar and Glenn Five on bass. This line-up was very stable going to make six albums together as a quartet, although technically it was Mike Duncan on bass for the studio tracks. Anvil remind me very much of Raven with some early classic albums, then a mostly failed attempted at commercial albums and then a raging comeback swinging way into the raging Metal side of things. PLUGGED IN PERMANENT is their album where they come out swinging.



The band was pretty fired up after a pair of weighty, mid-paced albums that got bogged down with murky production. PLUGGED IN PERMANENT is a raging beast, compared to the last two, almost all fast with a superb performance by Robb Riener, especially on Dr. Kevorkian’. ‘Smoking Green’ is a clinic, bordering on Speed Metal. The band doesn’t ease off the throttle until the fourth cut, ‘Destined For Doom’ where they drop back into the familiar Sabbathian plod. Lyrically the band hasn’t changed, Lips writing about his real life experiences, simple day-to-day living. Some critics have suggested that the band has been hindered by what some people consider goofy lyrics and I can see that criticism. I don’t necessarily agree but when the bands sings about pot (Smokin’ Green), masturbating (Five Knuckle Shuffle) and sleeping in late (I’m Trying To Sleep), one might suspect there is not much lyrical depth. I still love it to death. To be fair Lips does take a stab at some social issues such as justice and euthanasia, but even those lyrics are pretty simple.



For many people it is hard to see the appeal of Anvil and I think it was around this point in the 90’s where they started losing fans. They were not going to change, not add anything innovative nor try to compete with the gleaming young kinetic Metal hybrids, the Fear Factories and Nevermores of the new age. Nope, Anvil dug their heels in, said, 'This is who we are and what we do, no compromise'. I admire that and that’s why almost 20 years later I can still appreciate an album of pure, unrefined molten ore, like PLUGGED IN PERMANENT.
Track Listing

1. Racial Hostility
2. Doctor Kevorkian
3. Smokin' Green
4. Destined for Doom
5. Killer Hill
6. Face Pull
7. I'm Trying to Sleep
8. Five Knuckle Shuffle
9. Truth or Consequence
10. Guilty

Lineup

Steve Kudlow Vocals, Guitars
Ivan Hurd Guitars
Glenn Five Bass
Robb Reiner Drums


Next review: » Anvil - Speed Of Sound
Previous review: » Anvil - Plenty of Power





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