Anvil | House of Blues | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Anvil All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Sun., Jan. 10, 7 p.m. 2010

When a bunch of reviewers all use more or less the same phrase when they talk about a particular band, book, or movie, it usually means that they're lazy and have independently stumbled upon something easy and obvious. But "a real-life Spinal Tap," the words most frequently used to describe the long-suffering Canadian heavy metal band at the center of the 2008 documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil, are so dead-on accurate they're practically inevitable. Like that fictitious band, the core members of Anvil—singer and guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner—have spent decades toiling away in the shadows of the music industry, along the way influencing far more popular acts (Metallica, Guns n' Roses, Slayer) and coming tantalizingly close to breakout success. Anvil's music—like their self-released 2007 album, This Is Thirteen, recently reissued by VH1 Classics—is similarly evocative of Spinal Tap, with thunderously anthemic neanderthal riffage, highly theatrical vocals, and lyrics about such evergreen topics as ass-kicking-ness and metal. It might put a smile on your face—this kind of old-school stuff sounds pretty corny to a lot of people, may the Dark Lord forgive them—but it'll also get your fist in the air. —Miles Raymer

Price: $20, $18 in advance

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