Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bootlegs-W.C. Monster (2014 Re-Release)

Minotauro Records

The first of two cult re-releases from our friends over at Minotauro Records, "W.C. Monster" was the full-length debut from Iceland's own (pride and joy) Bootlegs. Initially released in 1989, with the group's only other studio recording (the self-titled "Bootlegs") appearing the following year, "W.C. Monster" is as much a reflection of the times as it is a creative & spontaneously diverse first take from a band mostly-unheard of outside of their native country! As unfortunate as that may be (especially seeing as there is just too much fun to be had given the unrestrained nature of this beast known as "W.C. Monster"!) one would think, fuck, let's make that HOPE that a fine re-release such as this one would finally rip the lid off of this hidden treasure once and for all! Especially seeing as this CD (as LOUD and PROUD as it wants to be!) seems perfectly suited for today's live fast, die even faster heavy fuckin' metal community! Formed in 1986 and (stylistically-speaking at least) aided by the gruff, near punk rock-like voice of lead guitarist Nonni this (oddly-named and criminally underrated) thrash/speed metal band was originally only active until 1991 or so. Since then it's been a case of on-again/off-again with the band reportedly back together once more as we speak. Born not only of some real classic thrash (Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Anthrax, Voivod, Exciter and early Artillery), but bands as different as Suicidal Tendencies and the Subhumans this (sadly) short-lived band had piss and vinegar in it's veins making "W.C. Monster" a nice little banger of an album! Bootlegs has the fist-fighting fury down pat early on "W.C. Monster" thanks to garage thrasher "At The End..." and from there on out it's either more tender-loving raw thrash we're talking about (from the A bands: Agent Steel, Acrophet and Acid Reign to X, W and Z ones: Xentrix, Wargasm and Zoetrope!) or real nasty (hardcore-leaning) material from a band that could have been construed as trying to do the whole crossover thing! That would be C.O.C., S.O.D. and even D.R.I. although quite honestly this bunch never strayed too far off in that direction. Either way it's a win-win situation as Bootlegs rocks it all the same! Album-wise (or would it be package-wise?) this is what you are looking at with this stellar re-release:

Now that's nice right? Would you like it to get even better though? Yeah? How about we chat about this expanded package's bonus material then! During one of those "on again" moments Bootlegs recorded a live show which ended up being released (in limited fashion just like their two studio albums) in 2006. That show is split up between the two re-releases as a sort of "special treat". So, not only do you get a taste of Bootlegs in the studio (something which is damn fine cooking in and of itself!), but you get to hear one of Iceland's best kept secrets in the wild and unchained! And you know that raw, almost crossover-like band that occasional shows up on tape? Yep, you guessed it. Strip away the "restraints" of a studio and this was one band who took the phrase "lean and mean" to a whole new level! If you're old enough to remember the underground clubs and real dive bar scene of the eighties (where skinheads, greasy looking bikers and long haired thrashers all took the pit at the same time and shared the love along with plenty of blood!) then you'll certainly recognized the live sound that Bootleg cranked out! It comes splashing down like a blast from the past and from the outside looking in it's little wonder that Bootlegs was a local favorite! The bonus material alone made me remissness about those days when punk and heavy metal was still in the early stages of their relationship and wearing your favorite concert tee was a badge of honor not some silly trend. But, that's one story for another time. For now why not head over to Minotauro Records online store where not only can you find this great re-release, but "Bootlegs" (the band's sophomore release which I hope to cover in the next day or two!) and other fantastic gems from heavy metal's heyday! You can find all of that and more right here: while you can check in the band itself by heading to:

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