Nuclear Assault - Third World Genocide - SPV Records
13 Songs
Running Time: 40:31

Anthrax, Overkill, and Nuclear Assault made up the frontlines of the NY scene in the battle against the Bay Area in the '80s, predating the Eastside/Westside hip-hop wars by nearly a decade. As big a fan of hardcore as Scott Ian was, it was only Nuclear Assault that injected any of the early-mid 80s hardcore (Discharge, Broken Bones) into their music with any regularity. This brought us albums such as Game Over and the classic NY thrashfest of Handle With Care. Also, the hardcore ethic went a long way in establishing Nuclear Assault as most politically-minded of the Big Three, John Connelly hurling invective through 'Critical Mass' and the timely even in these days 'When Freedom Dies'. Fast-forward to the early '90s, and original bassist Danny Lilker's one-time swansong, Out Of Order. On Out Of Order, the hardcore element of our beloved Nuclear Assault was heaved to the forefront, in my opinion paving the way for a legion of Biohazards to follow. The forgettable Something Wicked followed, and Nuclear Assault had for all intents and purposes turned in their key to the executive restroom at Metal, Inc....

Until 2002, when a mutual friend convinces the Jersey-ites to reform for a couple shows. You know the drill. Amicable feelings and sweaty manhugs ensue, most likely over too many beers, and talk of reuniting bears fruits of an album. In this case, Third World Genocide. The album is very much a case of "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.", the air-raid guitars of Connelly and Burke slicing through the near-tribal pounding of Glenn Evan's drumming and Lilker's fluid bass lines. The vocals of Nuclear Assault also set them apart from their own NY scene, Connolly's glass-gargling yet clear vocals being neither as faux-classic rock as Joey Belladonna, nor as chaotic in delivery as those found in Overkill. 'The Price Of Freedom' seems rather standard for NA until the solo, where Eric Burke effortlessly lays down a couple of the best solos on the album, bleeding emotion rather than flaunting technique. It's with the breakneck delivery of 'Human Wreckage', though, that Nuclear Assault truly lights up for the first time, proving that they could and still can plow through the thrash like few before and not many after. Not that all is grimace and growl with NA, 'Whine And Cheese' being the best punk rock song DI never recorded. It's catchy as fuck and will have pits the world over in pogo mode for at least a few minutes. The downtuned groove of 'Discharged Reason' bursts into frantic hardcore, dispeling the myth that the fury and angst of hardcore is only for those with the dreaded screamo-hair and wearing their sister's pants. It's back to the metal (and political) arena with 'Eroded Liberty', then into the Delivrance soundtrack outtake 'Long Haired Asshole', banjos and washtubs replacing Marshalls and moshpits, again showing that it really is ok to smile from time to time, even when you're a Heavy Metal band. The album ends with 'Glenn's Song', which does indeed push the raging drums of Evans to the forefront, putting a nice groove-oriented cap on Third World Genocide.

While it won't save the world, Nuclear Assault has struck a solid blow against the trend-hungry musical culture with Third World Genocide. Albums like this remind me why I got into metal in the first damn place.

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