In most cases, bands that has been around as long as Overkill will have a major following claiming that the early material is as by far the best or legendary or classic. I’ve not really encountered that with Overkill. It seems to me that the overall quality of their material has been consistent over the years. The style and sound may have changed over the years, but the songwriting is so solid, all the way from the mid eighties until today, thirty years later.
This debut record has a lot of classic Overkill songs on it. My favorite tracks are Rotten to the Core, Hammerhead, Overkill and Blood and Iron, in that order.
Rotten to the Core has that Overkill signature fun chorus that must be hellafun in a live setting. The guitar riff is not great, but the song comes together in great way, even if every isolated part by itself is not that great.
Hammerhead might be the thrashiest song of the album and the most east coast typical thrash song. It has the punch, the pace and the lyrical content typical of a debut album. Overkill turned into a series of songs. The first of the series offers the chugg-riff also found in several of the sequels. Lyrically this is not their best, but the vocal melody has all the right bounces and tops, and is just unbelievably catchy.
I have the re-issue, and for a re-issue the sound is weak. I would love for them to remaster or at least freshen up the sound a bit. To be honest, the sound is pretty shitty, but I suppose if the early Anthrax records are your guiding stars, your sound is going to be crap. It’s thin, almost no bass, neither from the guitar or from DD. The drums sounds like pots and pans. Music this good deserves better production. But I guess this is the way of low budget debut albums.
Recommended downloads: Rotten to the Core, Hammerhead, Overkill