11/29/2009

Anvil is The Real Spinal Tap (really)

Anvil are a Canadian metal band who've been together for 30 years and despite some brief notoriety in the early '80s, sink to the crappy club circuit due to bad management and worse personal music business acumen, struggle to rise above it all, with the attendant lifetime of battle scars and mishaps to show for it. The 2008 documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil is their story.

Having watched it over the weekend amongst friends, we can tell you this much: it did not provoke in us any sympathy for these guys. Their music is not that great (despite what Anthrax's Scott Ian, Metallica's Lars Ulrich, Motorhead's Lemmy, and Slash have to say about them); are dumber than a bucket of sand; and for people who've been gigging and recording for over 30 years, they make some of the most dumbfounding rookie mistakes ever.

Seriously, why would anyone who's been doing this for some time now, book a European tour with a novice booking agent--we're being kind here--who does not demand guarantees, and arranges international train rides as transportation? How about paying a has-been producer some $25,000 to record an album in his tiny London home studio? Or showing up, unannounced and without appointment, looking for a record deal at the offices of major labels in Los Angeles and expecting to be taken seriously? Based on what? Pure "yeah man, we're gonna be rock stars 'cause we deserve to be" drivel? Give us a fucking break.

Luckily, for these bumbling gentlemen, one of their former roadies is filmmaker/journalist Sacha Gervasi, whose doc--and their old high profile friends in the metal world--have garnered Anvil enough attention to be back in the spotlight for a bit. Good luck to them; they're nice enough folks. Just not worth our time and money.

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