Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Last night I went to a screening of the VH1 Classic-sponsored documentary, Anvil! The Story of Anvil. Based on the '80s-era Canadian metal band Anvil, who never quite made it financially—nor did they ever manage to secure any sort of legendary status amongst the metal masses—their hard-luck story was captured by long-time fan Sacha Gervasi (now a successful Hollywood screenwriter), who was first introduced to the group's core members of drummer Robb Reiner and singer/guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow [from left to right, above] as a 15-year-old fanboy.

It seemed that there were two kinds of people in attendance last night: those who'd merely heard of the band and vaguely remembered seeing ads for their records in Rip magazine (like me), or the full-blown frizzy-haired old-timers who could actually distinguish the nuances between Anvil's 13-album canon. Yet somehow, after watching the relatively short film (by comparison to, say, Some Kind of Monster) we all became fans of Anvil's story—a tale of dedication, perseverance and blind hope. And let's not forget their boundless love of heavy metal music.

Part Spinal Tap and part buddy comedy on par with anything the Waiting for Guffman ensemble could ever put together (seriously, Robb Reiner has that comedic blank expression down pat), Anvil! The Story of Anvil is both hilarious and hopelessly endearing.

As for Anvil's music? Well, at a time when "neo-thrash" is an actual term, it's hard to understand how bands like Black Tide can reside on a major label (or at least they were the last time I checked) and Anvil be fully shut out of even an indie deal. My suggestion: someone needs to put out a greatest hits retrospective—and, to paraphrase comedian/That Metal Show host Don Jamieson—some of the more famous folks in the documentary should put their money where their mouth is and take Anvil out on tour.

That said, check out a trailer for the film as well as my own crappy video of Anvil performing their seminal hit, "Metal on Metal," at the post-screening show. And go see Anvil! The Story of Anvil immediately.

And yes, Lips is playing slide guitar with a dildo in the clip.

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