This goofy fucking name reminds me of teenage days when I would get high with friends and try to think of the most ridiculous band names possible. The ones I can still remember are Person Hurter (which a group of friends in Minneapolis would actually bring to reality years later), Browned Grief, and Place of Bad Thing Happening (whose classic Death, Do Bad Thing remains one of the best nonexistent albums of all time). But unlike the acid-washed-jean Thrash or ham-fisted Grindcore we’d often envision when coming up with joke names, this poorly-monikered band from Chicago’s seventh album reeks of a different kind of joke altogether. Bible of the Devil play total Butt Rock, and they’re unashamedly dead serious about it. They have the late ’70s/early ’80s Hard Rock act nailed to a tee. Recycled-then-neutered riffs from Kiss, Thin Lizzy, early Priest, and early Maiden, a vocalist that sounds like a significantly overweight Paul Stanley, and song titles like “Raw and Order” and “I Know What Is Right (In the Night).” The production even sounds antiquated. These guys went to great lengths to pay tribute to their idols, but the pessimist in me has to wonder why. I’m not going to pretend I don’t indulge in a little Butt Rock now and then, but I’ll dust off my Destroyer cassette when I want to hear Kiss. I’ll break out my Metal Health vinyl with the 75-cent price sticker still on it if I’m feeling really frisky, and the same goes for all the other bands these guys emulate. Classics are classics because they are classics. Elementary homage to said classics does not an overnight classic make, so who is this for? Old fogies don’t buy records from newer artists (especially ones named Bible of the Devil) and young people don’t know what records are. So, I guess that leaves lovers, relatives, and the local biker bar patrons? Perhaps they hope to open for Def Leppard at a county fair someday? Or maybe since Thugs & Fools feels so much like Spinal Tap —minus the (intentionally) comedic value— they’re really big in Japan?
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