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What do I do if I find an Anthrax album in my collection?
Questions and Answers

In light of the new wave of terrorist attacks sweeping our great nation, the Beast has taken time out to gather some of the information our readers might need to protect themselves in the upcoming months.The following Frequently Asked Questions, with answers, were compiled following a series of interviews we did with the Surgeon General’s Office of the United States government:


Q:   What should I do if I find an Anthrax album in my collection?

Beast:   The most important thing is not to touch it. It’s been determined that the best strategy in this situation is to take two other albums from your collection, say, Queensryche’s “Operation: Mindcrime” and Van Halen’s “5150,” and use them, as one might use a set of oven mitts, to handle your Anthrax album. As soon as you’re able, put all three albums in a rubberized envelope, and rush them to your local album disposal center.


Q:   Is there anything I can do to prevent the Columbia House Record Club from sending me more Anthrax albums?

A:   No. Until the U.S. military action is completed, all Americans should assume that Columbia House might send them an Anthrax album at any time. Various avenues for canceling memberships have been explored by our security organs, but none have proved reliable to date.


Q:   Is it safe to handle Beavis and Butthead’s This Album Sucks or Public Enemy’s The Enemy Strikes Black? Both albums feature Anthrax tracks.

A:   The position of the U.S. Surgeon General’s office is that any album with an Anthrax track on it is an Anthrax album. There have been no ill effects to date from the remake of “Bring Tha Noize,” but then again, this might be mainly a result of it not selling nearly as well as the archetypal crossover rap single, Run-DMC/Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.”


Q:   Did “Walk This Way” do better on the charts because it was a black band doing a white band’s song, as opposed to “Bring Tha Noize,” which was the opposite?

A:   It is the position of the U.S. government that “Bring Tha Noize” was one of the greatest rap songs of all time, but that it lost something when Anthrax’s metal accompaniment was added. “Walk This Way,” on the other hand, definitely gained something when the street sound and crisp vocals of Russell Simmons and Daryl McDaniels were added to the familiar Steven Tyler chorus.


Stomp 442 CoverQ:   Is there anything
I can do to protect my children from the Stomp 442 album?

A:   Yes, certainly. As with any other public health crisis, education is the key. “Stomp 442,” as most of us know by now, is the only Anthrax album that does not contain the band’s name on the cover. It features instead a giant sphere of industrial wreckage, set against a desert landscape. The cover vaguely recalls both Joe Walsh’s “The Confessor” and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” and children, particularly those in early puberty, can easily mistake it for the work of another band. Kids should be shown photos of the album in both a family setting and in the organized educational environment of school. [The Beast is republishing a photo of the album here]. Once they’re familiar with the cover, they’ll know to keep away just as they naturally do from better-known albums like “Spreading the Disease” and “Among the Living.”


Q:   Is Among the Living Anthrax’s tour de force album?

A:   Yes. “Among the Living” is a pioneering work in the thrash/speed metal genre. There almost isn’t a weak track on it. It’s indisputably the group’s masterpiece.


Q:   Are the albums from the John Bush era any less dangerous than the Joey Belladonna-era albums?

A:   There are many purists out there who do not consider the albums on which John Bush was the lead singer “real” Anthrax. But the Surgeon General’s office considers the John Bush albums to be every bit as dangerous as the albums that featured Belladonna, the original lead singer. Just because it doesn’t sound like the old Anthrax doesn’t mean it isn’t Anthrax.


Q:   Are my Metallica albums contaminated because Anthrax helped out the band in its early days by giving them the gift of a refrigerator?

A:   No. Metallica has been fully cleared by the Surgeon General’s office, although Reload has been found to be as carcinogenic as strawberries.


Q:   Will Anthrax ever find its niche?

A:   The U.S. government has studied this question and determined that, at least in the short term, there is no serious threat that Anthrax will find a true niche in American society. At its best, Anthrax was content to call itself “heavy groove-laden power-thrash with industrial undertones,” but it was obvious that the band had pretentions to the “serious metal” that eventually became the province of self-consciously ponderous bands like Metallica. But Anthrax was never quite able to pull off the “thinking man’s metal” act, even though it tried valiantly with such tracks as “Skeleton in the Closet,” a meditation on the Steven King short story Apt Pupil, and “I Am the Law,” a celebration of the comic book hero Judge Dredd. The band’s concept albums floundered; the quantum-physics-inspired Persistence of Time was undoubtedly one of the group’s low points. Meanwhile, the group was all the time ceding its original turf to the classic head-banging working-class metal bands like Megadeth and Slayer. By the mid-1990s, Anthrax was basically a curiosity, a sort of historical relic of the speed-metal era, and not a serious commercial phenomenon.


Q:   So the chance that I either already own or will own an Anthrax album is not very high?

A:   Relatively speaking, no. It’s possible that you bought one out of curiosity sometime in the early nineties, say just after the release of State of Euphoria, but the likelihood that you listened to that album frequently is, statistics show, very, very low. The probability that you own an Anthrax T-shirt, however, is fairly high.


Q:   Why?

A:   The T-shirts were much cooler than the actual band. In fact, the band might have been specifically created to justify the T-shirts.


Q:   What do I do if I find an Anthrax T-shirt in my home?

A:   There’s a specific procedure. You give it to your girlfriend. Usually, she ends up sleeping in it. Studies show that this is harmless.


Q:   If I’m over 15, should I be listening to heavy metal at all?

A:   Absolutely. Anthrax notwithstanding, heavy metal can and should be an important part of any adult’s life. It’s especially valuable as road music and as something to put on to send yourself off to work in the morning. The Surgeon General even recommends that every adult male keep at least one Iron Maiden T-shirt in his active weekend rotation until the age of 35. Studies show that this has a salutary effect on the male self-image. Just be careful and responsible, and you should be just fine.

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