Given that thrash metal Godfather Dave Mustaine appears to have finally parted ways with any lingering vestiges of sanity, as anyone unfortunate enough to hear his idiotic pronouncements on America’s recent gun shootings will attest to, the good ship thrash is in dire need of stimulation, a sign to show that it hasn’t been hijacked by right-wing lunatics and party-obsessed chancers. Thankfully, help may be at hand from Minnesota maniacs In Defence, whose new album “Party Lines and Politics” could be the medicine that this ailing genre craves.
Unconcerned with boring trends and dubious political affiliations, In Defence are only interested in thrashing your fucking head in with their razor-sharp riffs and mocking lyrics. They waste little time in getting the job done as well, with all songs bar one clocking in at less than three minutes. Brilliantly titled opening track ‘The Police are Fuckin’ Rad!’ spits venom in the face of heavy handed law enforcement with caustic riffs that nearly approach black metal style heaviness. Not fans of the fuzz it would appear. ‘Democracy Hi-Five’ kicks seven bells out of our rotting political structures with its infectious three-chord attack before the Cro-Mags influenced ‘Corporate Bailout’ rages against the machine with its emphatic cry of “Eat the Rich, feed the poor!”
‘Reinventing Rob Halford’ toys with some Judas Priest style melodies before abandoning them in favour of filthy heads-down thrash, and all the better for it. ‘Black Metal Mania’ dips its toes into Slayer infested waters before the slowed-down stomp of the title track gives you a short window to catch your breath. ‘Mosh Against Monsanto’ brings out the gang vocals and gritty punk vibes to rage against multi-national corporations while the ultra-pissed off minute-long ‘Sewer Rats’ raises the testosterone levels to the place on the thermostat marked ‘Agnostic Front.’
Closing track ‘High Standards Reap High Results’ sums up In Defence and their approach to thrash metal perfectly. The muscular riffing, snarled vocals and sense of authority present in its three minutes are a perfect example of what bands of the genre can achieve when they’re willing to do the necessary leg-work. ‘Party Lines and Politics’ is a solid, if unspectacular reminder that there’s still some bite left in this ailing genre.