From the angry, guitar-bonfire opener, "The Doom Song," through to the closing track, the hardcore "Finale," Final Days is a vigorous, lusty album. Though a rehashing of previously released material, this is a seamless selection of numbers that feel like they belong together. (In fact, the liner notes declare that the disc's central theme is "the collision with disaster of the corrupt and 'brain dead' status quo." And, on close inspection, that's a pretty buyable assertion.) The sonics are the customary Plasmatics mix of metal and punk. "Stop" is a semi-anthemic grinder that finds Mohawked frontwoman Wendy O. Williams' sandpaper screech at its very best, "Brain Dead" begins as metal stomp before going for the hardcore shot, "Masterplan" sounds like "Welcome to the Jungle" on crank, and "Just Like on TV" is lurching and menacing. Just to break things up a tad, "Opus in Cm7" (complete with piano!) goes for a downtempo, epic feel and makes a good fist of it, while "A Pig Is a Pig" starts out as a country & western pisstake (making it clear just how the 'Matics felt about the guys and girls of law enforcement) before revving up into a raucous metal affair with some Johnny Thunders licks and a mighty wah-wah solo from Richie Stotts. Final Days is a strong album from a critically maligned band. Excellent background music for working out on the heavy bag or dynamiting city hall; this one's got more clout than an earful of frozen trout.
Final Days: Anthems for the Apocalypse Review
by Adrian Zupp