So, first off, as you may have noticed, this band is called “Panzerbastard.” And, as you also may have noticed, that’s pretty rad. I signed up for this solely because of that radness, and I have to say, I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
An offshoot of various Boston-based metal outfits, Panzerbastard plies a thrashy crust-metal trade, violent and fun for the whole family. (That statement, of course, assumes that your family enjoys violent thrashy crust-metal. If they don’t, perhaps you need a new family.) As the title would suggest, 2006-2009 compiles the band’s recordings during the eponymous period, which consists of three recordings, the middle of which was also released as a split album with Hungary’s Gyalazat. The three original sources are presented in reverse chronological order, and there are a few instances of songs repeated, so the overall listening experience is one of following the band backwards through time as they effectively devolve from their most professional and (relatively) polished offering to their earliest, rawest release.
All the usual-suspect influences are present—Discharge, Motorhead, Amebix, Extreme Noise Terror, some rare dashes of near-grind blasting and near-black tremolo; mostly, Panzerbastard is all punk energy with a solid touch of thrash metal’s more tightly controlled chaos. As alluded to above, the album opens with the band’s tightest performances, which are also their most traditionally metallic, the five songs taken from 2009’s Hell Gate EP. The EP title track and catchy thrash of “Fatherless Son Of A War Machine” are early standout moments on both sides of the band’s blend, the former blasting crust and the latter a tighter thrash tune that ends on a simple dual-guitar harmony (that doesn’t feel as out of place as it should) before the whole thing drops into the gnarly bass intro and mid-tempo pounding of “The Gift Of Desperation.”
As the record plays and the band steps backward from Hell Gate, their punkness comes a step further to the forefront—the Bastards Die Hard demo (that which comprises the middle section of this disc) is the clearest and best example of the band’s blend of crust and thrash, absolutely blistering from start to finish. (Witness the pounding title track or “Grave Robber” with its twisting lead guitar break.) By the time, Boston Demo rolls around, the production values have broken down to near necro-kvlt levels, which renders the band’s attack thin and trebly, robbing the ‘Bastard of their power. (The splashy hi-hat that opens the first song sounds like someone hitting a chain-link fence with a pipe.) And in case you missed the Motorhead influence, there’s a pretty faithful punked-out cover of “Ace Of Spades” at the end of this, the only song new to the compilation—the track ends with the bonus of some inebriated Bostonian praising the band for bridging punk and metal before being told in no uncertain terms to shut it.
Adrenaline- and alcohol-soaked crusty metal, 2006-2009 is great way to pick up three under-the-radar releases from an under-the-radar band that deserves more attention. Some damn fun li’l ol’ punk rock, this is—here’s hoping these Bastards keep up this level of quality intensity. My third crust-metal outing in a month, and the crustiest, punk-est and best of the three…