LAWNMOWER DETH — Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth (review)

LAWNMOWER DETH — Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth album cover Album · 1990 · Crossover Thrash Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Vim Fuego
OK, so we all know Lawnmower Deth were as mad as a barrel of monkeys, but there was method to their madness.

The self-deprecating humour helped cover any musical inadequacies, and gave the band an excuse for recording silly fuck-about songs. And let’s face it, those songs are fun. “Spook Perv Happenings In The Snooker Hall” examines the commonly held belief snooker star Ray Reardon is actually a vampire. “Sheepdip” proved Lawnmower Deth were equal opportunity crusaders, pushing for liberation of organic lawnmowers along with the mechanical kind. “Lancer With Your Zancer” is a retelling of the story of King Arthur, although there’s some doubt as to whether the Lady of the Lake actually said “Oi, Arthur/Come over here/Take this sword/Now fuck off”. “Seventh Church Of The Apocalyptic Lawnmower (Skank Mix)” adds a little Reggae and a lot of ganga to what was a straight thrash song from the band’s debut split album with Metal Duck.

The silly titles continue, with “Flying Killer Cobs From The Planet Bob”, “Sumo Rabbit And His Inescapable Trap Of Doom”, “Cobwoman Of Deth Meets Mr Smellymop” and “Sharp Fucka Blades Of Hades”.

Like many hardcore influenced bands, Lawnmower Deth also enjoyed making silly little micro-songs. Sometimes it takes longer to read the title than play the song, like “Weebles Wobble But They Don’t Fall Down”, “Got No Legs? Don’t Come Crawling To Me”, and “Punk As Fuck”.

Under all the humour though, there was a strata of seriousness. Well, there were four semi-serious songs... “Dodo Doe” was a revenge song aimed at Bernard Doe, the self-important metal journalist who thought himself a bigger star than many bands, because Doe had savaged Lawnmower Deth’s first release ‘Mower Liberation Front’, a split album with Metal Duck’s ‘Qwack ‘Em All’. Doe gave ‘M.L.F.’ 0 out 100 in Metal Forces magazine, and Lawnmower Deth quite rightly accused him of bias toward bigger, more established, more commercial bands. Who was right? Well, who still likes Bernard Doe? How happy were fans when Lawnmower Deth reunited? I rest my case.

“F.A.T (Facist And Tubby)” was dedicated to Billy Milano, vocalist for S.O.D. and M.O.D. for being, well, exactly what the title said. Whether Milano has ever noticed the song or not, the chant of “You fat bastard, you fat bastard” is timeless. “Rad Dude” pokes a stick at trend followers, including 11-year-old skater kids who thought they were metal because they skated, but knew fuck all about the music. “Betty Ford’s Clinic”, obviously, is about alcoholic celebrities going to the Betty Ford Clinic.

The highlight of the entire album is “Satan’s Trampoline”, the greatest thrash metal song of all time, bar none. Well, OK, bar several, but it’s the best song on this album. The song showcases everything good about United Kingdom Apple Core style thrash. The song is fast and heavy, includes an amazing single note bass run, features some outstanding guitar riffs, and has great comical lyrics. Stealing the melody from “An English Country Garden” was a brilliant touch too.

The CD version of the album was expanded with seven extra live tracks and the three track single “Kids In America” tacked on the end. The live tracks show Qualcast Mutilator abusing the crowd and taking the piss out of Acid Reign, who were there in the audience, and Billy Milano and Bernard Doe, who most likely weren’t. “Kids In America”, the unashamedly mediocre Kim Wilde song, is given new life with the Lawnmower Deth treatment, which includes a yobbo shout-along chorus and a fair bit of acceleration.

This is essential thrash, even for casual followers of the genre. Critics often knock Lawnmower Deth’s lyrics, but conveniently miss the serious songs and misunderstand the fun songs. Sure, there are musical jokes, but in between, there is some of the best thrash ever to emerge from the UK. If you don’t go icky ficky, or you don’t believe Larry Lamb is God, or you’ve never been on Satan’s trampoline, then you’re missing out on all the fun.
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