Review Summary: Dave Mustaine restrings his bass guitar with military grade uranium. "This time it's personal," he snarls, as Chad Kroeger appears in his scope.The Unnamed Feeling EP
is an album not unlike cinematic wonders like The Room
and Neil Breen's Fateful Findings
- a true disasterpiece. Although, I bet some little bit of effort was put into those movies that were just kind of accidentally bad because their makers had no business producing any piece of cinema. On the other hand, Metallica could provide plenty in the space of an EP, but instead decided to paste in a track from 2003's beloved St. Anger
and smack on a bunch of well-recorded and not well-performed tracks from a show in Paris.
There's nothing new to add about the seven minute (my god why?) nu-metal and Doug Funny "Bangin' on a Trashcan" inspired eponymous track ripped straight from St. Anger
. It was angsty, simple, slow, and trendy in the vein of early 2000s nu-metal a la that year's tour companions Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park. It was a track that didn't need its own EP. It's a track that didn't need to be seven minutes long. Yet here we are.
So, putting the turd in the corner, the meat and potatoes of The Unnamed Feeling EP
become the "Live in Paris" recordings of 6 "early days" tracks: "The Four Horsemen," "Damage Inc," "Leper Messiah," "Motorbreath," "Ride The Lightning," and "Hit The Lights."
As far as a selection of solid 'tallica tracks that will get the crowd thrashing goes, it doesn't get much better than this (well, maybe if they'd included "Master of Puppets" for a nice chant along). But the quirkiness of the live recordings is exposed early on when frontman James Hetfield calls for a little crowd participation by shouting "SING IT!" 55 seconds into the live portion of the album with a blank return. Maybe the French crowd didn't know the words. Maybe the recording just didn't capture the crowd. Or maybe they didn't want to sing, as plenty of crowd noise can be heard throughout the live tracks.
But it's a tactic that James doesn't abandon throughout - nor should he, considering he's commanding the vibe of the live performance and we're really just tagging along. But it makes the recordings an odd choice to be presented to a home audience as an audio-only experience. So, make sure you're prepared to know the words and sing along whenever "JAYMZ" grunts out a "PARIS!" or "GIVE IT TO ME!" as he does multiple times on the the first live track.
And it only gets better. James mumbles through the verses to "Damage Inc" and just generally sings a little out of tune while Kirk undoubtedly looks bored and wanks about whenever possible. "Leper Messiah" sounds like it's been drowned in fuzz and low-end and even Kirk's soloing sounds sloppy. Lars plays competently, and with a significantly better drum sound than on St. Anger
(as is to be expected), while Metallica's newest member, known and announced to the crowd as "Mister Robert TrueHeJewel" gets mixed out while doing that crouch walk thing he does live.
But for all the tonal frustrations regarding the first four live tracks, at least Hetfield dutifully recites his lyrics (when he's not asking the crowd to) - a feat he does not repeat on "Ride The Lightning." Not only does said track feature Hetfield's gracious introduction of Robert, which includes asking the crowd for "love and Respect for Robert," followed by a signature "OOH YEAH," but he was kind enough to begin it with a "What's new pussycat?", a chant-along of grunts, and a new riff on classic Metallica lyrics. I'll take this moment to highlight James' new entry into Metallica canon with my aural interpretation of the new final verse to this reimagined classic:
"Really chilly coke
It's in the Sing-Wa towers
Doesn't go too well with bread
Death in the air
Wrapped in the electric chair
I forgot the ***in' words
Is this a crazy dream?
Or is this just a dream?
Flash before my eyes
Now it's time to die (there they are)"
There's probably something in there about 9/11 being an inside job that I'm missing, but that'll have to be for more discerning ears than mine. In all honesty, though, there's a line in James' dedication to the road crew on "Motorbreath" that indicates that this is the third show they've played in a day, which is more than enough to account for the sloppiness heard at this show. But it still begs the question: "why release it?" Some part of me needs to believe that Metallica knew just how weird and funny this recording was and wanted to share that, and that's kind of cool to me that the metal giants are willing to share their less-than-perfect human side. Still, the experience is as funny as a product by the aforementioned schlocky movie-makers who must be at least somewhat cognizant of how awful their movies are.
The zombies rose from the ground, wailing and moaning with their arms held high.
"How are we going to put down that many zombies, Het?" Lars asked, climbing up onto the stage with his faithful trash can under his arm.
"We RIFF!" Het shouted. "OOH YEAH. YEAH!"
The zombies moaned in response. He had found a way to subdue them.
"We just need to hold them long enough for Dave to do his thing. Only then will Kroeger's empire of Albertan super soldiers be stopped."
Meanwhile, as Metallica faithfully played their third concert in a single day to keep Chad Kroeger's zombie constituents at bay, Dave Mustaine tapped his feet on the floor of a Comanche en route to the Nickelback palace buried deep within the confines of Avril Lavigne's Raven Rock Mountain Complex. Though the members of the Nickleback Enclave kept themselves separated at all times to ensure contingency of power in this post-apocalyptic hellscape, Mustaine knew he could cripple the autocrats by taking out Kroeger, who was scheduled to depart any minute now.
The helicopter whirred closer to the tip of the mountain complex, quickly moving in from less than half a mile out. Dave could make out human images in fur coats with heads adorned by large ushankas. There could be no mistaking it. Kroeger was here. Quickly, yet carefully, Mustaine restrung his bass guitar with military grade uranium. "This time it's personal," he snarled, as Chad Kroeger appeared in his scope. He pushed a button, transforming his bass into a laser rail rifle and narrowed his sights on the dictator.
"You never should have thought you could get away with framing me for Super Collider
," he growled and pulled the trigger.
Lightning flashed before my eyes. Now, it's time to die.
...Or was it?