Saturday, November 16, 2013
Man, timing really is everything. What better era of my life to enjoy this ridiculously juvenile, sophomoric, thrash metal epitome of bad taste then during my sophomore year in highschool. For the uninitiated, U.S.A. For M.O.D. is basically Speak English Or Die Part II, an off-color rant against most everything from the era before the P.C. police started slapping "Explicit Content" stickers on every fucking album under the sun. Starring ex-S.O.D. frontman Billy Milano, the album doesn't sway much from the tone of his previous S.O.D. effort - merely a new cast of characters playing the backup roles. Guitarist Tim McMurtrie with his applaudable Misfits-esque hairdo (and "No Mercy" hat - how fucking on point was that back in '87?) is more than adequate and there's definitely some shit on the album I've never been able to decipher how he plays. Drummer Keith Davis and bassist Ken Ballone are also up to challenge and pair up as a solid rhythm section. What hurts this album all these years later is the... I dunno... goofiness of it all. Of course that's what makes it endearing in a way but another song about Freddy Krueger? Really? And the tired anti-immigrant tirades like "Import Society" come off just cartoonishly ignorant, even when you know they've got their tongues planted firmly in cheek. On the plus side though, there are some real screamers on this one - "Spandex Enormity" is a perrenial fave of mine to this day as is "Parents" (featuring Scott Ian as Billy's screaming bitch of a mother). And how can you not crack a dry smile at "A.I.D.S." you unfeeling cynical bastard (even Milano busts a chuckle singing the chorus). "Hate Tank" is a fucking great way to wrap this album up, a pounding example of perfect crossover thrash. Sadly, M.O.D. would change both band members and styles over the following years (including the nearly unlistenable Surfin' M.O.D. a short year later) and could never reproduce the greatness of their debut. Too bad.