Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 9:00 PM EDT
(8:00 PM Doors)
- Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 2:00 AM EDT
Grog Shop, Cleveland Heights, OH
Toronto, Canada's Anvil were one of the first North American bands to push the sound and style of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal one step further. Clearly indebted to the likes of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and many others from across the Atlantic, Anvil nonetheless played louder, faster, and heavier than their heroes, in the process laying the groundwork for the thrash movement that took over heavy metal's underground in the '80s. Yet unlike many of the furious West Coast thrashers that immediately followed them, Anvil were mostly out for a good time: their albums often featured borderline pornographic sex songs, and frontman Steve "Lips" Kudlow frequently took to the stage in a bondage harness and played guitar solos with a vibrator.
Zany antics notwithstanding, Anvil's musical contributions were very real; their fastest songs were some of the earliest speed metal laid to wax, while jazz-trained drummer Robb Reiner set new technical standards for the genre, including pioneering the double bass drum technique that's become a staple of much extreme metal since. Anvil's second and third albums, Metal on Metal and Forged in Fire, made significant waves in the metal community over 1982-1983, but despite the respect of musicians and metalheads alike, stardom was not to be theirs. Geographic isolation, label and management difficulties, and shifting musical trends all conspired against them, leaving them largely the province of cultists and collectors just a few short years later. Undaunted, Anvil soldiered on, continuing to record and tour whenever possible, and in 2009, a documentary film by the band's former teenage roadie threatened to break them to the wider audience they never found in their prime.