Violent Playground

Thrasher Violent Playground - Thrashin Blues (Big Chief) 1988

1.   Thrashin Blues (4:06)
2.   I Hate My Boss (2:48)
3.   Poverty Sucks (3:46)
4.   Toe Tag (2:53)
5.   Doctor Feelfine (4:13)
6.   Mr. Dandy (4:26)
7.   Lame From The Neck Up (3:40)
8.   Play To Kill (4:21)
9.   21st Century Bluesmen (Boogie Chillun) (5:13)
10. Anvil Head (3:08)

If the blues gave birth to rock and roll, then thrash metal must be the illegitimate demon spawn of rock and roll. Violent Playground were a Florida based thrash metal band who were attempting to put a different spin on thrash metal, adding in some blues licks and tricks to their frantic speed metal. I remember back around 1986 Nuclear Assault recorded a thrash song titled "You Figure It Out" (aka "Butt F**k") with a little blues section in the middle which stated, "you know, we're probably gonna catch a lot of flack for putting a blues part on a thrash album...". (or something like that.) Violent Playground takes that concept and spread it out throughout their entire album.

The album starts off with a little delta blues intro before bursting into a chugging thrash metal riff. For the most part, the blues parts aren't overbearing. While some of the guitar solos have a bluesy vibe, most of the songs are straight forward thrashers. On the other hand, a song like "21st Century Bluesmen (Boogie Chillun)" weaves a musical tapestry by combining speedy thrash licks with some bluesy melodies and a harmonica solo. Other songs like "Toe Tag" have a bit of a groove while album closer "Anvil Head" is a out-and-out thrash metal assault. Almost every song on "Thrashin Blues" has a fun catchy chorus as well. The lyrics are all tongue-in-cheek fun. How else do you interpret songs like "I Hate My Boss" and "Poverty Sucks"? I personally find Violent Playground to be emphatically catchy, despite how purposely corny some of this is. It's all just part of the fun. Thrash purists may be turned off by this release, but for those that enjoy a bit of diversity and humor in their thrash metal, Violent Playground is worth tracking down.

Finding this on CD has proved to be quite a chore. I've had a nice CDR bootleg for quite a while, but finally just snagged a reasonably priced vinyl copy of "Trashin Blues."

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