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ALBUM REVIEWS / POP : Uninspired Slayer Looks for Punk Roots With ‘Attitude’

SLAYER “Undisputed Attitude” ** American Recordings

This tribute to the distinguished L.A. speed-metal band’s hard-core punk roots has a taint of too-late bandwagoneering and I-was-a-punk-when-Green-Day-was-in- diapers-one-upmanship.

Yes, this is real punk--songs originally done by ‘80s groups Minor Threat, Verbal Abuse, T.S.O.L., D.R.I., Dr. Know and D.I., plus two songs guitarist Jeff Hanneman Hanneman wrote back then. Slayer’s trademark rat-a-tat head-rush assault sprouted straight from that scene, but here it flattens most of the songs. Surely the old groups had individual characteristics that inspired Slayer, but there’s precious little of that quality evident.

The exceptions are the two ringers that close the album: the Stooges’ 1969 classic “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (the punk national anthem) and a new Slayer original, “Gemini.” The former is saluted with a winning combination of reverence and chaotic glee, while the latter builds on the honored history with a richness lacking in the other selections.

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Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).


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