When it comes to stereotypical metal song titles and overall imagery, The Rods might be one of the best ever. The album cover speaks for itself.
Written by: Dangerzone
ARTIST: The Rods
ALBUM: Let Them Eat Metal
LABEL: Music For Nations, Combat
SERIAL: MFN-29, MX-8009
CD REISSUE: 1998, High Vaultage, HV-1030
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: David ‘Rock’ Feinstein – vocals, guitar * Gary Bordonaro – bass * Carl Canedy – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Let Them Eat Metal * 02 White Lightning * 03 Nuclear Skies * 04 Rock Warriors * 05 Bad Blood * 06 She’s So Tight * 07 Got The Fire Burnin’ * 08 I’m A Rocker * 09 She’s Such A Bitch * 10 You’d Better Run * 11 Life On The Edge
WEBLINKS: Site Link
When The Rods burst onto the scene in 1980 with their classic debut it should’ve been the springboard to heavy metal glory. Of course that wasn’t forthcoming and 1982’s follow up ‘Wild Dogs’ languished, seeing the band losing their major label deal and instead relegated to indie metal label Shrapnel for 1983’s forgotten ‘In The Raw.’
Nothing surely prepared anyone for 1983’s ‘The Rods Live’ however. This was on the Combat label and anyone expecting a blistering set of live favourites from their albums was probably shocked and repulsed by the all live originals, which had all the production quality of an album recorded in a bathroom stall. Following this disaster the band regrouped and regained some of their momentum with ‘Let Them Eat Metal’ which is as concise a document of where U.S. heavy metal stood in 1984. It proved The Rods still had the goods, even if their audience had all but moved on.
When it comes to stereotypical metal song titles and overall imagery, The Rods might be one of the best ever. The album cover speaks for itself and just a quick scan of the titles involved says it all. The title track is a crunching anthem, but the near thrash of ‘White Lightning’ is where it’s at for me, on par with the debut for intensity and raw appeal. This could almost be Manowar on their ‘Hail To England’ album.
The much utilized nuclear war theme of the early 80’s appears on ‘Nuclear Skies’ and is more melodic, with a near AOR chorus. This shows a different side to the band as they try to take on a serious nature. That’s quickly thrown aside by the rampaging ‘Rock Warriors’ which blows away the similar likes of Twisted Sister who were ploughing the same fields in 1984. This is classic stuff, displaying the aggression The Rods had become known for and forgotten about just as quickly.
Following this is the ludicrous ‘Bad Blood’ which is notable for being the most blatant rip off of Judas Priest‘s ‘Breaking The Law’ ever written. What were these guys thinking? It’s almost note for note in the verses and maybe Priest didn’t sue them because they either never heard it or decided The Rods probably didn’t have the dough to cough up for royalties. It has to be heard just for the novelty factor. I’m not sure even Krokus came this close to ripping anyone off.
The feast of classic metal manoeuvres continues with ‘She’s So Tight’ which veers off into party metal territory which Quiet Riot might have stolen for their ‘Condition Critical’ album. The speed returns for ‘Got The Fire Burnin’ which again recalls the dynamics of the debut, fast and decisive in its intent.
It gets even better with ‘I’m A Rocker’ which is as basic as it gets, in sound and subject matter. I could imagine Y&T playing this one as well, so indicative of the scene in 1984. The unrelenting ‘She’s Such A Bitch’ is another dose of speed metal and a fine way to end an album which in all honesty has to be heard to be believed. If someone asked me what album is a perfect summation about anything associated with heavy metal circa 1984 I’d hand them a copy of this.
There’s plenty of snobs out there who’ve thumbed their noses up at this album over the years as apparently it’s too low brow for their liking. I don’t understand it. What were people expecting from The Rods? A concept album about the colonization of the United States? Now if someone made an album like this in 2015 I’d say it’s just a total fraud of a bygone era, but this album perfectly captures the mood of what metal represented in 1984.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)