In an age where political correctness is running rampant, mirroring the right-wing Evangelical censorship of the Tipper Gore era, we have a large sigh of relief here in the first Brian Posehn album that is not a collection of stand-up routines.
Not that I mind those stand-up albums, as Posehn is one to really sack it to today’s politically correct comedians who believe that the whole purpose of comedy is to “punch up,” but Grandpa Metal is something completely different, and in this reviewer’s opinion, a good look in the mirror that today’s heavy metal culture needs.
The disc is completely star-studded, and it is worth noting that it also features the final recordings from the now-deceased Jill Janus, formerly of Huntress. You’ve already heard her on the band’s A-Ha cover of “Take On Me,” which is the album’s first single and a good place to start.
Complete with screaming solos, Chuck Billy’s growls, and even Steve “Zetro” Sousa of classic Exodus fame, they went extremely over the top with this one to deliver a performance that completely blew me away. I have heard other heavy metal covers of the song before, as there are three dozen of them on the internet and a few from notable acts like the now defunct Northern Kings project, but none have been quite as bombastic as this. If you only hear one A-Ha heavy metal cover this year, make sure that this one is it!
Moving onto the rest of the record, we have a kick in the teeth to Satanism in metal called, “Satan Is Kind Of A Dick” where Posehn boldly iterates “They don’t play Slayer in hell!” while Slayer alumni Gary Holt lights up the sky with a solo number. The record is chock full of some of the most brilliant solos I’ve heard on a disc in quite a while, which also classifies it as the heaviest comedy metal album I’ve heard to date.
Next, we have “1/4 Viking, 3/4 Pussy” which is a well-needed punching down to countless numbers of people in the heavy metal community who may take the Nordic thing a bit too far. Johan Hegg also performs guest vocals there, which works as well as you’d imagine. A solo by Alex Skolnik rounds it out.
Next, we have a horrible showcase of “toxic masculinity” in what I’d consider to be the funniest song here, “Big Fat Rock.” This is the kind of song (with Phil Dremmel on solo duties) that will make politically correct writers cringe and vomit profusely as they tell Brian Posehn to grow up and check his privilege in what I’m sure will be scathing reviews. Though, for a man like myself who has always loved this kind of humor, I found this song to be one the best of the year. Move over Kanye West, because here comes a new challenger to your throne of musical greatness.
Actually, speaking of that greatness, it is also challenged with yet another soon to be classic on the Billboard Top 100 called “New Music Sucks.” In this song, Brian Posehn dissects the formulaic nature of modern music and just how awful it is with an artist-by-artist breakdown. I’d say it is quite on the mark and shows how late millennial and now zoomer music (he covers that in the metallic reprise with some help from Brendan Small) is, more often than not, just plain garbage.
What’s more, there are some scientific studies to back this up, and YouTuber Thoughty2 actually made a video on what constituted objectively good music and what constituted objectively bad or poorly written music. It’s quite fascinating. Sorry to say, but if you enjoy any of the aforementioned acts, your taste in music probably sucks.
But of course, with all this talk about how much “New Music Sucks,” we also have to take a look at “Grandpa Metal,” which explores the old guard’s dissatisfaction with current trends in modern heavy metal and how the old days were better. In some ways, I would agree, though not in all, as some advancements have pushed the genre stylistically forward to an extent.
Posehn of course, hit it hard with his earlier hit “Metal By Numbers” which would fit well on this album, so fans know what they’re getting here. “Goblin Love” is a silly little ditty about a goblin dating site, because goblins have always needed love, too. I have to wonder if the Goblin Slayer anime had something to do with this.
Moving to the final part of the album, we have “Monster Mosh,” which is a fun revamp of a classic with Pearl Aday and Bumblefoot unleashing some amazing solo efforts, with the final note being a tour-de-force in heavy metal media’s lovechild, Corey Taylor. The metal media has been largely guilty as of late regarding countless posts regarding the man’s life, surprisingly not covering what he had for breakfast, nor the contents of his bowels. At least, not yet. I’m sure that once Taylor endorses male prostate health, we’ll be hearing about that part of his life as well.
That being said, I’ve always been a fan of his work, and this Ylvis cover of “The Fox, What The Fox Say” comes off just as heavy as some of the material on the recently released Slipknot recording, We Are Not Your Kind. At first, I thought I was going to uncover the fact that media darling Taylor was indeed a furry, and that the lyrics here proved it, but then I noticed that despite how original the lyrics sounded in the song, it was not an original.
Folks, as soon as Taylor jumped into “how beautiful is her fur,” that was it for me. I later imagined the man in a giant fur suit, sitting on the couch watching Friendship Is Magic. In any case, this track certainly topped off the album with an unexpected amount of fire that listeners cannot even begin to imagine, and in simpler terms, it really was a “kick-ass song.” The piece also features Michael Starr, which goes to show just how much heavy metal royalty is featured on the disc.
Even though it took six years to make, I was more than pleased with Grandpa Metal. If there is a best comedy or parody metal album category at The Golden Gods (which I’ve always considered to be just as terrible as the Grammy’s) this year, I’m pretty sure that Brian Posehn is going to win it.
Posehn created a real kick in the pants that the metal community, scene, or whatever you want to call it (or don’t, because you’re too cool for school) needs to hear right now, and I highly recommend that you go out and buy it. Or just stream it on a service like Spotify that pays the artist peanuts. Maybe he can put those peanuts to good use and feed his entire family with peanut butter sandwiches for a whole month. Just imagine the possibilities!