Various Artists — Scrap Metal Volume One (Riding Easy Records/Permanent Records)
When it comes to this cracking compilation, the title alone is worthy of a congratulatory slap on the back.
And that’s even before metal heads everywhere are introduced to some of the deepest cuts in the denim and leather universe.
Scrap Metal is curated by the same team that brought us the Brown Acid series of vintage 60s/70s proto-metal.
And it’s been lovingly pieced together with the same attention to detail and no-holds-barred attitude to unearthing ear-bleeding treasures.
Yes, the title’s very clever.
But, in retrospect, many of the neck wrenchers here don’t belong on the metal scrap heap.
And don’t be fooled into thinking volume one (there’s more to come!) of the new series is simply sweeping up the rubbish from the cutting room floor.
There’s a common theme of ambition and wild optimism running through Scrap Metal Volume One.
This is the sound of emerging bands making their play to be the next Priest.
The sound of super-talented wannabes snapping at Saxon’s heels.
And the sound of Leppard cubs unleashing their own brand of growling, grizzled metal.
It’s fast, furious and a whole lot of fun.
It is, after all, heavy metal.
Headbang To Scrap Metal
Could the Scrap Metal team have chosen a better opener to kick off their deep dive into metal’s long hidden gems?
Headbang, by Rapid Tears, is a short, sharp shock of glam-tinged speed that treads a fine line between authenticity and parody.
But the Canadians pull it off with brazen efficiency and prove their metal credentials with aplomb.
Don Cappa proudly reference their industrial hometown on Steel City Metal.
And yet this robust single, limited to 300 copies, had nothing to do with Sheffield when it emerged in the same year as Leppard’s Hysteria.
The Pittsburgh band represented a slew of US wannabes clinging to the coattails of NWOBHM’s glory years.
But Steel City Metal was the first and last recorded blast of Don Cappa.
Of course, for connoisseurs of the genre, Scrap Metal isn’t just about the music.
The brilliant band names and anthemic song titles are all part of this superb package’s monstrous appeal.
Doom-laden NY state crew Czar couldn’t have picked a more metal moniker for their meaty 1982 effort Iron Curtain.
And in 1987 Real Steel had the name and song title — Viking Queen — to strike fear into allcomers.
Thanks to the Scrap Metal team the furious set closer can be enjoyed for a little less than the $1k it’ll set you back for an original seven-inch copy.
Scrap? More like pure gold.