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Inter Arma - Garbers Days Revisited LP

Inter Arma - Garbers Days Revisited LP

Relapse Records

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We still need to thank Metallica for Garage Days Revisited, the covers EP that paid homage to their influences while they were having fun. The blueprint has been applied with wildly varying degrees of success by numerous extreme music acts as a stopgap between original recordings. Inter Arma's Garbers Days Revisited (titled after the band's rehearsal space while directly referencing the Metallica offering) is their contribution to the shelf. Cut between tour legs supporting 2019's Sulphur English, the band recorded this strictly for fun, and it sounds like it. After their tour, but before announcing this album, Inter Arma issued a "quarantine playlist" earlier in 2020 that offered original versions of six songs re-created here. Over eight tracks, they pay homage to artists that they revere. Fans will be familiar with the inclusion of Neil Young's "Southern Man." It has been part of the group's set for as long as anyone can remember, so it's a wonder it took so long to get it recorded. Its rage, floated on a ton of molten metal, resonates with the poignancy of our current political and social climate. Ministry's "Scarecrow" is thunderous and foreboding; it's laced with feedback and speaker-melting sonic effects, a throbbing drone bass, riotous kick drums, and black metal vocals to ratchet the intensity. The band's wonderfully unhinged reading of the Cro-Mags' anthemic "Hard Times" reveals the original as much indebted to the Misfits, but the hardcore thrash aesthetic is abundant in Inter Arma's musical toolbox. Inter Arma read Hüsker Dü's SST-era "The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill" explosively; they filter the catchy melody through black metal vocals, buoyed by a guitar attack that balances thrash and death metal yet retains the hook. Speaking of black metal, the group also deliver a serviceable take on Venom's "In League with Satan." They get the chants down with tongue firmly in cheek, while playing the riff through nasty, fuzzed-out distortion, atop a furious tempo. Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down a Dream" is actually the perfect vehicle for this Virginia outfit. Rooted in melodic hard rock, Inter Arma transpose the song's driving motion through punk-propelled energy and hard-rocking psychedelia in an extended jam complete with guitar orgy. While Prince's "Purple Rain" has been rendered badly by rock stars and garage bands alike (Bruce Springsteen's is notoriously limp), Inter Arma offer pathos, commitment, and reverence, along with their trademark musicality in this moving rendition. Sung by drummer T.J. Childers, his raw yet clean vocal squeal is impressive as an empathetic homage to its creator. While covers records are common, the taste, energy, and imagination Inter Arma apply to Garbers Days Revisited is anything but. As a whole, it stands head and shoulders with any recording in their catalog. -All Music Guide

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