Though metal fans are a loyal breed, the bands themselves do rather seem to come along in waves – their longevity may outlast that of pretty much any genre, but their emergence is extremely haphazard. Who was the last BIG heavy metal band? As in, straight ahead hard rock/heavy metal, not some weird cross-over hybrid? Is it tough for them to breakthrough or are they simply content with a steady trickle of gigs and a sizable continental following? Anarchy Reigns are a new British band who further muddle the confusion.
They are a band of mostly linear qualities: leather; hair (lack of and profusion); volume; guitars; slightly cringe-worthy lyrics. Their posturing as rock’s voice of the people presupposes that we hadn’t considered politicians to be liars (or has the song has it, “Liars, Liars” – like New York, they named it twice) or that we’re still apoplectic with rage about George W. Bush hunting down weapons of mass destruction TWENTY YEARS ago. Not that I’m condoning the invasion of Iraq but this is horse bolting of the highest order. The accompanying video is similarly well-intentioned but hopelessly out of step. The problem with dragging current affairs and politics into music is that it dates so horribly remarkably quickly, let alone if you start off on the wrong footing. John Lennon protesting about the war in Vietnam now seems quaint and hippyish – Anarchy Reigns’ highlighting of a Middle Eastern crisis which has been superseded at least twice by further conflicts. It’s all a bit odd.
Musically it’s good fun, if unlikely to set the world alight – it’s a little bit Rammstein; a little bit Deep Purple. It’s very safe, the kind of thing you’d be happy leaving your little ones listening to without fear of them being corrupted. My first metal band. However, it’s a positive thing for metal and a positive thing for the British music scene that bands like Anarchy Reigns are willing to stand up and be counted. Do what you love and there will always be an audience which appreciates it.