There are many ways to choosing a CD. Most people seem strongly influenced by the amount of clothes featured in the corresponding video clips, others follow names like lemmings the call of the wild (“it’s Madonna! it can’t be bad!”), still others let extensive trial and error govern their choice. Those solitary figures can often be encountered in better record stores, hogging the one CD player with a decent pair of headphones, sifting through a pile of records with a single-mindedness that would make an ant look scatterbrained.
I work somewhat differently. My usual mode of separating the “great” from the “not so great” is far more straightforward than the approaches described above: I listen to some tracks and if there’s something that makes me laugh, I get the CD. Simple as that. This method has netted a respectable number of musical pearls and only a small amount of bullshit. I am glad to announce that Napalm Death’s 2001 record, Enemy of the Music Business, falls into the first category.
Napalm Death have enjoyed an illustrious career in extreme Metal. Hailed by some as the innovators behind Grind Core, those englishmen have seen it all, the tops as well as the pits – so if there’s anybody who can bitch about the business and release a record of said bitching for our aural pleasure without overly straining a muscle from pulling a straight face, it’s them. Enemy of the Music Business … well, the title says it all, really. The CD can be called a “concept album” if you are so inclined, I just call it bloody hilarious. From the first track, “Taste the Poison,” I was hooked: great musicianship, loads and loads of breaks all over the place, AND intelligible vocals (yes, indeed, I joke you not). Also, I have always had a soft spot for grown-up men grunting into microphones or screeching like banshees, so there you are. Danny Herrera’s incredible drumming shines thanks to the excellent production, and as I have mentioned before, you can actually understand the bloody lyrics. That might be considered a drawback were this a Cannibal Corpse album, but in the case of Enemy of the Music Business it’s a good thing. Yes indeed.
Musically, Napalm Death delivered another spew of cool bits and pieces for Black Metal bands to rip off, and “Can’t Play, Won’t Pay” features what’s probably the best metal riff of the early second millennium – quite a feat considering it’s in 4/4 time. Also, have I mentioned that Danny Herrera’s drumming is incredible on this album? Regarding song length, though, Napalm Death are disappointing their old-time fans somewhat: half of the songs on the record last longer than three minutes, even. That’s too bad, really; I for my part would have appreciated one or two old-fashioned tracks because my computer’s incoming-message-jingle is growing old. Damn.
Listening to the record for the first time, I lost it after two minutes or so and couldn’t help laughing out loud at the screaming and sheer overwhelming noise. Great stuff! The next couple of days were filled with mirth on my part and frowns from my coworkers who were subjected to Enemy of the Music Business on heavy rotation. Don’t you just love big, open office rooms? I am still astounded by Danny Herrera’s incredible drumming, and it still cracks me up every time Barney feels like grunting “DIE”, which happens quite often.
Should you be the least bit interested in the more testosterone-dripping sort of metal, be sure to give this classic a shot. This CD is fun beyond belief. And incidentally, have I mentioned that Danny Herrera’s drumming is incredible on this album? Anyway: check it out.