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“Sgt. Hetfield’s Motorbreath Pub Band” by Beatallica

Artist: Beatallica
Title: “Sgt. Hetfield’s Motorbreath Pub Band”
Label: Oglio Records
Release Date: 7/10/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

When this album first arrived part of my adoration for the contributions to music that the Beatles had done made me want to scream “Blasphemy” at the top of my lungs. Yet when I placed it in the changer I was instead fascinated at the ability of the band to take these hallowed riffs and chords and mix them up with a taste of Metallica. Sounds really weird doesn’t it, but it’s true that there is a band that’s an amalgamation of The Beatles and Metallica and the songs are really are a fun listen when it comes down to it. The ride begins with “Sgt Hetfield’s Motorbreath Pub Band”, and I almost fell over when I heard them say “it was twenty years ago today, Motorhead taught this band to play” as if to honor the real Metallica’s influences. From there I knew to expect the unexpected as far as twisting and turning of that which I knew deep within my musical core and as the pounding drums began for “Revel-ooh-tion” I was finding myself amazed at how close to James Hetfield their own lead singer/guitarist sounded. Coincidently, his name is Jaymz Lennfield, and as you can see the name he uses is also a mix of John Lennon and James Hetfield (fyi the other guys follow suit in their stage names). The song titles follow the same formula as being Heavy Metal music done ala Metallica, but also using the strong Beatles influences as their base and this bears treats like “Sandman” which follows “Taxman”, “Garage Daze Night” and “Leper Madonna” – I am sure you get the picture from these examples and if you don’t then I am not sure how to better explain it.

The listener will also find a strong level of musical competency presented here and each song seems to work in the manner that they had intended it to be done in. All the players are capable musicians in terms of guitars, bass and drums and feature Grg Hammettson (guitar), Kliff McBurtney (bass) and Ringo Larz (drums). Clever aren’t they. They prove their musical talents all around the recording of course but are to be complimented for how they do the song “Ktulu (He’s So Heavy)” most specifically for that one just rocks. I admit that I am not always crazy about spoof or tribute bands but this is neither and yet a little bit of both at the same time. The songs aren’t really comedic pieces that one would find with Weird Al Yankovic, nor are they exact renditions of Metallica or Beatles. They are instead tributes to the styles of both bands in some sense and definitely something that is not as easy to turn off from your stereo as you might think. My favorites included some of the tracks referenced above as well as “Blackened the U.S.S.R.”

Since their inception they have released a number of albums of music that they made available online for download and the group has developed a following in many of the Metal circles. They even found the guys in Metallica amused with this and giving it their blessing instead of suing them. Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy is also a staunch supporter and believer of what they are doing so given that – how hard could it be for the rest of the general pubic like us to give it a chance. This release is their first “official” album and comes to us via Oglio Records, themselves a growing company. The album was a lot of weird fun for me and instead of leaving me annoyed based on my initial perceptions it left me wanting to see them do this stuff in concert. If you love the Beatles, Metallica and all things Metal in between then at least check out some samples. I do believe you will be surprised. I know that I was.

Track Listing:
1. Sgt. Hetfield’s Motorbreath Pub Band
2. Revol-ooh-tion
3. Blackened The U.S.S.R.
4. Sandman
5. Helvester Of Skelter
6. A Garage Daze Night
7. Anesthesia (I’m Only Sleeping)
8. Leper Madonna
9. Ktulu (He’s So Heavy)
10. For Horseman
11. Hey Dude
12. Sgt. Hetfield’s (Reprise)
13. And Justice For All My Loving

Official Website: www.beatallica.org