Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sodom - The Saw is the Law EP (1991)

Sodom's 1990 effort Better Off Dead is easily one of the band's best albums outside of the classic Angelripper/Blackfire/Witchhunter triple threat. Michael Hoffman's brazen tone was well suited to Tom's vocals, and the band were proceeding forward with another solid collection of songs, the most fun of which was "The Saw is the Law", which got its own EP release in the following year. There's not really a lot to say about this; it's your typical CD single with an album track (extended mix here) and a few bonus pieces, which offers almost no value in retrospect unless you are dead determined on acquiring the band's cover of the Bryan Adams song "The Kids Wanna Rock", in which case you might want to find a strong rope and a scaffold and...

"The Saw is the Law" was an excellent piece, with a mid paced plotting dowsed in NWOBHM tradition that delivers the vocals and predictable chorus like a hammer to the balls. This is an extended version of that track, with the effects, vocals and guitars more exaggerated, but to be honest I prefer the more condensed, 4 minute form on Better Off Dead, which managed to entertain without the need for laughable ballast. "Tarred and Feather" is a faster piece, which won't come as a surprise if you've already got it on the CD version of the full-length, but if not, then it would be the sole reason for checking out the EP in the first place. Lastly, there is the cover, which was an entirely mediocre blues/rock track to begin with, and has not suddenly improved just because Tom Angelripper and a bunch of punks are handling it. All you can expect is awkward, drunken gang shouts and a few ripping growls from the Man.

The Saw is the Law does have a nice cover image, but that's about all I can recommend it for. There's just no point in having this for "Tarred and Feather" when you can grab the Better Off Dead CD and enjoy it as part of a more compelling experience. The extended title track is silly and unnecessary, and as for Bryan Adams: anyone reading this could go sit on his/her toilet, jack off with one hand and strum a few chords on the other and come up with something more compelling, and it certainly does not rank among the band's better covers (like Tank's "Turn Your Head Around", on the full-length). An unusual choice, maybe, but lame just the same. I realize the band and label probably just wanted to scrape together some extra gas money for tours, but you'd have better served them by just buying Tom Angelripper a beer.

Verdict: Fail [3/10]
(so ends the story of the chainsawman)

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