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Final Days - Anthems for the Apocalypse

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Album Review

From the angry, guitar-bonfire opener, "The Doom Song," through to the closing track, the hardcore "Finale," Final Days is a vigorous, lusty album. Though a rehashing of previously released material, this is a seamless selection of numbers that feel like they belong together. (In fact, the liner notes declare that the disc's central theme is "the collision with disaster of the corrupt and 'brain dead' status quo." And, on close inspection, that's a pretty buyable assertion.) The sonics are the customary Plasmatics mix of metal and punk. "Stop" is a semi-anthemic grinder that finds Mohawked frontwoman Wendy O. Williams' sandpaper screech at its very best, "Brain Dead" begins as metal stomp before going for the hardcore shot, "Masterplan" sounds like "Welcome to the Jungle" on crank, and "Just Like on TV" is lurching and menacing. Just to break things up a tad, "Opus in Cm7" (complete with piano!) goes for a downtempo, epic feel and makes a good fist of it, while "A Pig Is a Pig" starts out as a country & western pisstake (making it clear just how the 'Matics felt about the guys and girls of law enforcement) before revving up into a raucous metal affair with some Johnny Thunders licks and a mighty wah-wah solo from Richie Stotts. Non-member founder Rod Swenson co-wrote all of the songs. Final Days is a strong album from a critically maligned band. Excellent background music for working out on the heavy bag or dynamiting city hall; this one's got more clout than an earful of frozen trout.

Biography

Formed: 1979 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

At a time (the late '70s and early '80s) and a place (the New York punk scene) where shocking the audience was often the order of the day, few bands had a greater gift for cultivating outrage than the Plasmatics. During the group's heyday, a Plasmatics show could include anything from lead singer Wendy O. Williams covered in shaving cream and electrical tape while brandishing a chain saw as blue-haired Richie Stotts attacked his guitar in drag, to the destruction of televisions, electric guitars,...
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