BLITZSPEER, Live (1990, Epic)

The skull:
Finally! Some actual Pushead, to go along with all the pushead knockoffs littering the skullection. This is hardly Mr. Head’s finest work, but it’s still pretty excellent in its simplicity. Skull, eyepatch, crossbones, checkered flags. Looks like the painting was then slapped unceremoniously over a photo of some asphalt, but half-assedness was the order of the day, as we shall see.

The music:
In the late 80s, there was a halo effect around hair metal, the aquanet tide lifting all ships in the metal fleet. Thrash, in particular, seemed like it might be the next big thing, and every major label scrambled to sign any band that might possibly become the next Metallica, or, failing that, the next Testament. A lot of bands without so much as a demo got snapped up and rushed to market well before their due, and as a result you’d see things like Meliah Rage’s Live Kill Blitzspeer’s Live taking up space and creating “buzz” while the bands got their shit together for a full length. As it happened, by the time those LPs were finally shit out, so too had Nevermind been shat, and the thrash Titanic made a beeline for the ocean floor. A lot of great bands undeservedly took it on the chin in those dark times (see: Wrathchild America), but it can’t be said that Blitzspeer didn’t deserve their almost immediate obscurity. A tepid mix of thrash and biker rock, delivered with a well-rehearsed NYC punk sneer, Blitzspeer weren’t bad so much as totally, completely forgettable. Live is actually a really nicely recorded document, and while at least half of these songs appeared on the band’s studio debut (and swansong) Saves, these live versions are clearly more energetic than their properly tracked counterparts. That’s not enough to really make it worth your time to track this stuff down, but I guess if you’re dead set on owning some Blitzspeer, this is the one you want.
— Friar Johnsen