ECW - Extreme Music
Slab / CMC International Records, 1998
REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/15/1998
DISCLAIMER: I have never seen an ECW match either in person or on video. My comments about the league are based solely on message boards and wrestling websites such as http://www.otherarena.com, http://www.wrestlemaniacs.com/main.html, and http://www.hadeswrestling.com.
That said, for those who don't know, ECW is an acronym for Extreme Championship Wrestling. From what I can gather on the internet, ECW is a rougher, tougher and meaner version of WCW and the WWF. Apparently, matches have included a bunch of thumbtacks thrown on the mat so that when a wrestler is bodyslammed, thumbtacks puncture their back. Apparently, barbed wire is sometimes used for the ring ropes so the wrestlers get bloody. And, apparently, it is a springboard for wrestlers into the WWF and WCW. Among the list of those that have jumped from ECW to one of the big two include Saturn, Raven, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho, Scorpio, Mankind/Cactus Jack/Dude Love, Terry Funk, and two recent jumpers, Bam Bam Bigelow (though his jump is not 100% confirmed) and Sandman (who is supposed to appear in WCW within the next couple of months.)
For those who don't give a damn about wrestling, and my wife is one of them, or who don't know any of the wrestlers I mentioned above, this CD is a collection of some of metal's powerhouse bands with new versions of songs. The songs are each associated with a wrestler.
There's a remix of White Zombie's "El Phantasmo and the Chicken Run Blast-O-Rama." There are some subtle changes to this version, but for the most part, White Zombie is White Zombie and Rob kicks ass. There's Megadeth's instrumental version of "Trust" where an additional guitar plays the vocal melody. There's Motorhead's version of Metallica's "Enter Sandman." While "Enter Sandman" is one of my favorite songs, Lemmy breathes new life into the seven year old song. The looser hi-hat is probably the most notable difference between this version and Hetfield and company's.
There's Kilgore's version of Pantera's "Walk." One of my favorite Pantera songs is given a good treatment. There's Bruce Dickinson's version of Scorpions' "The Zoo." Sounds like Iron Maiden covering the song, which is good. There's Anthrax's version of Metallica's "Phantom Lord." Is Charlie Benante a kick ass drummer or what? He adds some different fills that fit the song. There's Tres Diablos' version of ZZ Top's "Heard it on the X." Tres Diablos is the drummer, guitarist and bassist from Pantera. Drummer Vinnie Paul sings. Intense. Hopefully, ego man Phil Anselmo will let him sing this in a Pantera concert!
There are some duds too. Monster Magnet continue to not impress me at all with their musical vision. "Kick Out the Jams," while upbeat, is still stupid. "Well, I feel pretty good / and I guess could get crazy now baby." Maybe I'm still bitter vocalist Dave Wyndorf skipped their Cedar Rapids, Iowa, gig because he was eating the most "amazing spaghetti dinner" ever. Please.
Muscadine's version of AC/DC's "Big Balls" is so muddled vocally it's not pathetic. Either sing or give it up if you don't like the song you're covering. The performance sounds half-assed.
Apparently, ECW is on the verge of signing a deal with a major network which would get them national exposure. As a wrestling fan, I hope this happens. I've had enough of Hulk Hogan declaring his candidacy for presidency and Vince McMahon using the word "screw" as in "Stone Cold Steve Austin, you're going to get screwed out of the belt."
Whether you're into wrestling or not, this CD is a cool collection of the metal scene's top commercially successfully bands. According to the CD booklet, Extreme Music 2 is supposed to be coming out in Spring 1999. Whether that means March or May, I'm not sure.