The debut studio long player from the powerhouse punk-metal supergroup led by My Ruin guitarist Mick Murphy, Corrosion of Conformity drummer Reed Mullin, and producer John Lousteau, the cheekily named Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 is both a refreshing blast from the past and an ardent kick in the teeth. A workmanlike distillation of punk, thrash, and hardcore's skull ring-, concert T-shirt-, and combat boot-laden heyday invokes everyone from Suicidal Tendencies and Minor Threat to G.B.H. and the Misfits. It's also a shit-ton of fun, especially when Murphy and Mullin are entertaining (and being entertained by) such notable guests as Dave Grohl, Jello Biafra, Nick Oliveri, Lee Ving (Fear), Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Neil Fallon (Clutch), Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio), and Stephen O'Malley (Sunn 0)))), among others. The aggro mosh pit-fueled antithesis to Desaparecidos' melodic and politically charged (and also outstanding 2015 punk nostalgia trip) Payola, Greatest Hits is a 20-track, over-40-minute sonic onslaught that, with songs rarely running over two minutes, wastes little time getting into the ring and landing a haymaker. The aptly named opener "Exploder" arrives via a stocky bass and kick drum throb and a Mike Ness-inspired pick slide, Lee Ving infuses the nervy "Big Money" with the same gravelly cocksureness that made Fear's "I Don't Care About You" such a durable punk anthem, the Mullin-led "The Dead Hand" deftly blends classic Bay Area thrash with East Coast horror punk, and the unabashedly Sabbath-worshiping "Crowned by the Light of the Sun" is the stoner metal anthem that the Sword have been trying to perfect since Age of Winters. In short, Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 nearly derails its own joke by living up to the boast, which when you think about it, is pretty fu*king punk.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger