Monday, June 01, 2009

It Came From Florida - The Drills

The Drills LP (.rar file)

If the pictures didn't give it away, The Drills were an 80's metal band (I do really love that cartoon album cover, though!). I saw them twice around 1986-87, once opening for The Ramones, the other time opening for The Dead Boys (in what turned out to be a very bizarre show...the Dead Boys' bassist had died in a car accident the night before, so they ended up going on sometime after midnight with no bass. At one point, someone complained about them doing a mid-set soundcheck, and Cheetah Chrome went off on the guy. "I just saw my best friend's head cut off, and I still came out here to give you a show, so SHUT THE FUCK UP!"). I thought they were a pretty cool band, and they had a more "rock n roll" sound than most speed metal bands at the time. In fact, they sound nothing like Metallica or Slayer (there's maybe some resemblence to Anthrax), and I'd almost say they were like a faster version of Green River. I remember that my friend Bob bought a magazine at a convenience store that had blurbs about 100 or so speed metal bands, and the next day he told me that The Drills were in it. "Every single band listed their influences as Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax," Bob told me, "except The Drills. They said Motorhead, Stooges and Aerosmith," which pretty much proves they were cool. In fact, these songs don't sound like speed metal so much as the fast songs on Motley Crue, Quiet Riot or Guns n Roses albums. Oh, wait, you know who they're really like? Riot!

Unfortunately, I don't think this album really captures how cool they were. The production is murky and tinny, with very little low-end bass sound. This sort of production actually works to the advantage of punk bands, but metal is a different story. If you listen to the two-vocal breakdown on "Full Throttle" that I posted above, you can hear that it doesn't quite come off as well as it should. Still, "Full Throttle," "Joy Ride" and "Easy Action" rock hard enough to give you an idea of how great these guys were.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Drills are partly to blame for my hearing loss. This is a great record that few people outside of Florida know anything about. Usually when I see one of these in a used record store, it is in the $2 to $5 range (and I urge whomever I am with to get it.) However last weekend I saw a sleazy record dealer in Orlando hawking a copy for fifty bucks! Anyhow, it is a classic. Alex Hood is currently playing guitar in F.

6/03/2009 7:03 AM  
Blogger Chris Oliver said...

Izzat you, Bob? Yeah, I think I actually got this album out of the dollar bin WHEN IT CAME OUT.

6/04/2009 8:11 AM  

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