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Killers (Paul Dianno) - 1994 Menace To Society

ARTIST: Killers (Dianno)
ALBUM: Menace To Society
LABEL: Bleeding Hearts
YEAR: 1994


LINEUP: Paul Di'anno - vocals * Cliff Evans - guitars * Gavin Cooper - bass * Steve Hopgood - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Advance And Be Recognised * 02 Die By The Gun * 03 Menace To Society * 04 ? * 05 Think Brutal * 06 Past Due * 07 Faith Healer * 08 Chemical Imbalance * 09 A Song For You * 10 Three Words * 11 Conscience * 12 City Of Fools

Since his departure from Iron Maiden in 1981, Di'anno has embarked on countless projects, among them Di'anno, Battlezone, Gogmagog, Original Iron Men, Lonewolf, and even Praying Mantis, all of them quality AOR and metal. One of his finest attempts at capturing the glory days of Maiden was Killers, an assembly of NWOBHM stalwarts which Paul assembled for a crushing debut, 'Murder One' in 1992. Primal metal, it shamed Maiden's weak 'Fear Of The Dark' that year and reinforced Di'annos position as a traditional metal leader. This follow up 'Menace To Society' surfaced two years later and was surprising to say the least. Di'anno tweaked the sound to Pantera standards, they were of course the major act of the day, and set about writing songs attacking the US, where he supposedly was incarcerated. I'm not sure if Di'anno was taking the piss with some of these songs, but the results are often hiliarious.

The Songs
Adopting an L.A. gangbanger look on the sleeve should have prepared many for this, and it is confirmed by short opener 'Advance And Be Recognised' where Paul threatens 'some of you fuckers out there call yourseleves our friends.....we despise you assholes...'. This leads straight into more downtuned Pantera inspired mayhem, 'Die By The Gun', the title saying it all. The music is angry and so is Paul, 'no such thing as love', and there's a sped up instrumental section, contrasting with the mostly slow grind. It gets better with the title track, a forum for some annihilating riffs, all round aggro metal. It wouldn't be right not to mention the line 'don't give a fuck about the L.A.P.D.', demonstrating Paul's rage at the injustice of the notoriouly corrupt police department which dealt with him so unjustly. The strangely titled '?' sees Paul utilising the once popular loudspeaker type vocal effect, something Slayer plunder to this day. It's just a lead-up to the classic metal of 'Think Brutal', with its passages of thrash speed and riffing. The lyrics are laugh out loud material: 'turn away from direct confrontation, but still I'm seething inside when I'm pissed off'. Or better yet 'I won't strike out if you try to provoke me, just shut your mouth, it's all bollocks you see'. This has to be heard to be believed. I recall the tears streaming down my face....The majority of the album pales accordingly and Di'anno still flirts with AOR at odd moments, 'Past Due' sounds like a different band as the man finds it impossible to ditch his AOR past. The only other noteworthy cut is the rap metal 'City Of Fools', Di'anno's ode to Los Angeles and his ire for it. The opening line 'Hey Holmes' provides more smiles, and how can you argue with the line 'get out of my face, don't call me dude, or I'll hammer you down into puppy food.' Other gems include 'the garbage can they call L.A.' and 'ain't nothing big..nothin bad...just the same old crap they think so rad'.

In Summary
I often wonder about the mans motivation for this album. His autobiography probably explains the story behind it, but obviously he was using Pantera's flavour of the moment, sub thrash style to sell a few copies. Actually he pulls it off brilliantly, the heaviest moments rather awe inspiring. Good comedy metal, although the quality control is spread thin. For those interested in hearing a side of Di'anno they might have been unaware of, you owe it to yourself to seek this out.

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