Anthrax - Attack of the Killer B's (1991)Release ID: 1513

Anthrax - Attack of the Killer B's (1991) Cover
Daniel Daniel / December 11, 2023 / Comments 0 / 0

Despite the fact that my attention had well & truly been drawn more towards more extreme forms of metal by 1991, I still maintained my interest in the thrash metal that had played such a huge role in my musical development. For that reason, I was still picking up every Anthrax record immediately upon release with their “Attack of the Killer B’s” compilation being one of the last to receive that privilege. I recall quite enjoying my CD copy too, it has to be said. It’s been decades since we crossed paths though so I thought it’d be interesting to see if my feelings have changed over the years.

“Attack of the Killer B’s” is a compilation that draws together a collection of B-sides, cover versions & live recordings &, as I’ve recently discovered, with fairly mixed results too it has to be said. There’s no doubt that Anthrax were a class act at that point in their evolution but there are some misguided decisions on show here. The tracklisting kicks off in really strong style with cover version of S.O.D.’s crossover thrash classic “Milk (Ode To Billy)”, the rap metal collaboration with Public Enemy “Bring The Noise” & an acceptable live version of “Keep It In The Family” (one of the highlights from Anthrax’s last album “Persistence Of Time”) all being very strong inclusions. Things start to get noticeably hit & miss from that point on though & I find that the misses generally align with Anthrax’s notorious sense of humor which won't be a huge surprise for anyone that knows me as I’ve never been a fan of silly novelty tracks like “Startin’ Up A Posse”, “Pipeline” or “N.F.B. (Dallabnikufesin)”. These missteps are offset by some high-quality efforts like Discharge cover version “Protest & Survive” (my personal favourite), S.O.D. rehash “Chromatic Death” & a speed metal reenactment of Trust’s “Sects”. Even though both are excellent songs in their own right, the two live cuts are both a little disappointing as the production is simply inadequate.

 I have to admit that I was expecting a little more from “Attack of the Killer B’s” as I remembered it being more consistently great than this. Still… there’s some good shit to be found here if you’re patient enough to sit through the filler. There’s also a lot more to this release than just Anthrax’s signature thrash metal sound too with crossover thrash, rap metal, heavy metal & comedy rock all playing important bit parts in the outcome so it may have some crossover potential for a wide range of fans. I doubt that it'll make too many best-of lists though.