The past has been coming back to haunt me as of late.
It started when my mom found a batch of old photos, awards and report cards that captured my youth—plus some pretty wack hairstyles—and made me think about a simpler time when I was one of only maybe three metal kids at Seth Low Junior High, located in the bucolic cultural mecca known as Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
Soon after, some of my middle school classmates started finding me on Facebook and reminding me of just how notorious I had been for choosing to rock skin-tight acid-washed jeans instead of rolled-up parachute pants with two pairs of pastel socks back in 7th Grade. To this day, I feel vindicated whenever I see four different shades of black nail polish at the Chanel counter—even teachers gave me shit for making this my consistent choice at the time.
Sure, it sucked sometimes being stuck in that guido hell, but it almost didn't matter. I knew the truth: Metallica were the unequivocal kings of all music, heavy metal was the Alpha and Omega of my existence, and it was obvious that Death Angel were by far better than Dark Angel ever could be (sorry, Gene!).
Maybe it's appropriate, then, that I recently took in the documentary, Get Thrashed, which pretty much summed up my musical soundtrack from the ages of 13 to 17 perfectly. Not only did the film touch upon local haunt L'Amour, the Bay Area scene (Ron Quintana still rules!), crossover (Go Sick Of It All, D.R.I. and Leeway!), it also served up super-size helpings of the so-called Big Four and a segment devoted to Suicidal Tendencies—all before wrapping things up nicely by introducing thrash's forbearers: Pantera, Shadows Fall and In Flames.
Better still, since the documentarians are also based in New York City, I attended many of the shows they highlighted in the film—albeit in an underage Kamikaze haze. They even displayed a ticket stub from the Madison Square Garden date of The Clash of the Titans tour that I went to on June 28, 1991. I'd postponed my Sweet Sixteen until the following night, opting instead to see Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, plus openers Alice In Chains (and a brief appearance by Public Enemy).
The movie even helped me remember why I worshipped Metallica so much as a 'tween, instead of blurting, "I want my money back," when I saw a photo of my room from back then—covered floor to ceiling in their posters. What's even crazier is that a lot of the people interviewed in Get Thrashed are my Facebook and Myspace friends now, too.
Get Thrashed far and away surpasses Sam Dunn's Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, which struggled to ensure each sub-genre was included and over-explained, yet offered no conclusion to the metal phenomenon's resilient vitality. So, wholeheartedly, I recommend Netflixing this bitch instead.
And since I'm a nitpicking asshole, below are some wise-ass observations:
* I really enjoyed the extended band coverage in the international, region-based Bonus featurette, which focused on lesser-known acts like Testament, S.O.D., Death Angel, Overkill, Sacred Reich and Carnivore. But Forbidden? Heathen? Atrophy? Razor? Really?
* Gary Holt is the Norm MacDonald of metal.
* I think I heard Brian Fair call the band "Nuke-lee-er" Assault.
* Cliff Burton still fucking rules.
* Dear Lord Satan, please help me un-see those spandex enormity pix of Billy Milano's balls.
* Why wasn't any footage of Dave Ellefson used during the Megadeth segment?
* Municipal Waste must be interviewed for any metal-related documentary in current or pre-production. Period.