Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Metallica - Ride The Lightning

Metallica - Ride the Lightning
Published 1984

First off, of course, let me thank Tommy Clark for her suggestion of this album.  I'll be rolling around to some of your other suggestions when I can, and keep you up to date when I do.

Metallica should be my favorite band.  They should be, but they aren't.  It's actually been one of those weird questions that haunts the back of my mind when I think about music, why I actually find Metallica pretty pedestrian and mediocre.  I like the album, I like the songs, I like the sound, I just never really got into them as a band.  This is one of those albums that a lot of people feel passionately about, especially two of my best friends, so it's weird that I don't like it as an album.

Let me be clear, if I were about to go do something awesome, I'd want to listen to Metallica.  They have a way with being fucking awesome, and play some awesome songs.  They're like the Scorpions, but not a joke (and I fucking love Rock You Like a Hurricane).  They have obviously influenced a ton of bands that I love.

Remember when I said, just down below this post, how mature My Aim is True sounded?  Take that, and reverse it.  This sounds like someone trying to be incredibly edgy, but not really fully pulling it off.  It's not that I can't get into it, and I will admit to banging my head a bit, and enjoying the shit out of parts, but sometimes, it sounds like it is the metal madlibs.  Nouns are always fire, dead or brain.  Verbs are always gonna, want, and will or burn, eat and murder.

And yet, I feel like a shit for even bringing that up.  It's fucking Metallica!  Who the fuck listens to the lyrics?  They are designed to be shouted so that Kirk Hammett's fingers don't explode into flames on stage!  In this respect, I will say, this album kicks ass.  The solos are awesome, the bass is fucking kicking, the drums are as good as Lars Ulrich gets.  Everything is designed to be as loud as hell, and ready to burst your eardrums.  I mean, when I was twelve or thirteen, I saw fucking Papa Roach at a concert, and I will never say that fucking Last Resort was any sort of good song, but that concert rocked because the band made it rock.

Which actually might bring me to my main problem with this album.  I don't want to hear Metallica on speakers, sitting at my computer.  Driving really fast?  Maybe.  Setting shit on fire?  Definitely.  Live?  Fuck. Yes.  This might be the quintessential live band for me, and I feel like I may have missed my opportunity to see them at their thrash metal-ly best.  Actually, I know I have, because I was born two years after this album came out, and as far as I can tell from their singles, they peaked when I was two and have been sliding down ever since.   I mean, right now, I'm listening to For Whom The Bell Tolls, and I can see the fucking stadium that I want to be at to see this show.  It's RFK stadium, the field is covered in people, the stage is huge, and they are playing this song.  Like twice as fast though, and they are fucking psyched to be playing music still.  They haven't gotten to the point where they feel entitled to anything, but they are just there to make some fucking great music.

Maybe that is the reason I can't get into them.  I just can't think about it in terms of never actually getting to see that band.  I guess if there is one thing that Ride the Lightning has taught me, it's that I need to make sure to go out and see the bands that I want to see ASAP, or they'll put out Death Magnetic, and no one wants that.  (I kid Metallica.  I never listened to Death Magnetic.  And neither did anyone else, apparently.)

I mean, this is a solid album.  "Ride the Lighting", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", and "Fade to Black" are fucking classics, and I don't give a shit who you talk to, anyone who says differently is lying through their teeth.  It's just not my cup of tea.  What I'm saying is, this is an optional album to me.  If you love Metallica, you already have it.  If you love Slayer, you already have it.  If you hate Metallica, nothing will turn you onto them.  And I'll be right between you guys, wondering which ones of you are the clowns, and which ones are the jokers.  Yeah, that was a Steeler's Wheel joke, you heard it here first.

Anyway, thanks again to Tommy, and I hope to be screamed at by my friends who love Metallica.
Smile and you are happy,

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