Anvil - Legal at Last

Anvil Legal at Last cover
Legal at Last
AFM Records
One has to give it to Anvil for sticking to their guns for the best part of over forty years and counting. Countless albums later (nearing 20?!) the band is still around, through all its ups and downs, doing what they set out to do all those years ago.
Sure the band was poised for greatness, but they have been less than stellar in their middle years and despite making a strong return around “This is Thirteen” and getting some overdue attention when the documentary about them came out, they didn’t exactly manage to ride that wave of late publicity to the utmost extend. Still they soldier on, no matter what. Always had and probably they always will till the grim reaper himself will removes their picks, vibrators and drumsticks respectively from their cold dead hands…
This albums seem to be concerning itself almost to a conceptual level with weed… and its legalization. The title track that opens the album is typical of what you’d come to expect from them, with I suppose the bong fx, being a novelty of sorts, but everything else, from the machine gun drumming, to the facemelting soloing and the rock your balls off attitude overall, are as you’d expect them to be.
“Nabbed in Nebraska” presumably for smoking the weed…is a mid-paced and hard hitting rocker, that goes down easier than a big hit of the good shit, while you have yo crack a smile at the Motorhead-isms of “Chemtrails”, which is probably done in good humor, rather than seriously – I’d hope.
“Gasoline” is seriously heavier to almost doomy proportions and even eco-conscious, a little too philosophical for an album primarily celebrating weed decriminalization. Neat solo by the way and probably one of the better songs up to that point.
“I Am Alive” has a nice Accept like riff – it does sound a lot like proto Accept, other than Lips, sounding like himself… which is probably not as good as Udo.
“Talking to the Wall” sounds big and mean with a riff to match, but ultimately it’s a little monotonous, other than the wild solo. But I suppose, it hard not to like the honesty with which it’s all done.
“Glass House” is more melodic, still maintaining the critical social commentary (decrying the loss of privacy) and I suppose the band sells themselves a little short, when they just put an anvil shaped bong on the cover and an angel taking a hit (lol)!
Apparently at least two or three braincells are still working in these guys brains! At most and make em come out with some nice stuff! Case and point “Plastic in Paradise”, another song with ecological messages, which is not exactly what one would expect from these Canucks, but is what we’re getting, complete with a meaty ass, heavy AF riff that really drives it all, slowly along.
“Bottom Line” is decidedly more rock ‘n roll and a little boring if I say so, but not to the point that it’s beyond salvation.
“Food for the Vulture” begins with some swanky, yet pretty agile riffs and its nice use of dynamics makes it another strong entry in the album. It’s heavy enough and active enough, without tipping its hat to one end of the spectrum or the other. Nice balancing act.
“Said and Done” probably laments the lack of more success, but does so in a proud way, not feeling sorry for itself, just proud of what’s been achieved.
Last but not least, there’s a bonus track, “No Time”, which pushes the pedal to the metal and could have been great if the chorus was a little more imaginative.
It’s somehow heartwarming to know that some things will be the same, come rain or shine… shine Anvil shine…