I was in one of those shitty high school heavy metal bands that changes it’s name every second week. Given that at the particular catholic school I attended there were six or seven people with instruments and a shared interest in all things metal the band usually consisted of any five, six or all seven of us. We used to practice in my mum and dad’s garage. Practice was peppered with quarter hourly ‘fag’ breaks and people randomly quitting the band, practice would usually end prematurely when the bass players amp blew a fuse and we would have to get a bus into town to replace it.
When it finally occurred to somebody to buy the fuses in bulk, practice ended prematurely due to a mutual craving for cheap lager, custard creams and family sized bags of crisps. These would be summarily gorged upon under a bridge (just like in that song) between my house and the local corner store.
On getting back no other excuse was needed not to play music as it was late and we were too noisy for late. Instead the evening would disintegrate into TV and more alcohol and in later years a trip to a pub called the anchor. Drunk, bored or tired we would retire, the rest of the ‘band’ sleeping on my bedroom floor or on camp beds.
And that’s when it would happen. Invariably and given that the alternatives were zero whoever had decided to quit the band that week would have over the course of the evening decided that he wanted to be back in the band. It was rare for anyone to object. There was only one hurdle facing the now ‘new member’.
I was fourteen when I first heard slayer ‘reign in blood’ the week it came out, totally dismissing it as being ridiculous. I believe the money went on a copy of Cinderella ‘night songs’ instead. Then a few weeks later a girl friend said she didn’t like the record and did I want it? To be honest I didn’t but it did mean my meager collection of records was now one louder so I said yes. Over time it grew on me and eventually led to an obsession with ‘thrash metal’ and then ‘hardcore’.
slowly the sound of rain and drums would fill the dark, silent and over-crowded bedroom. The rain and drums would be followed by a familiar high-scale and distorted guitar riff, shortly after came a second more highly pitched guitar and then, and then all fucking hell would break loose.
Deal was if you wanted to be back into the band you had to be ‘slayerfied’, being ‘slayerfied’ meant having the living shit kicked out of you for the duration of the title song ‘reign in blood’.
Looking back it was hugely gay: a pile of partially and invariably sweaty bodies clammering with fists, punching and occasionally kicking each other as dave lombardo’s drums beat out an unholy rhythm that non of us could hope to follow.
Despite the imagery, there were no hand jobs.
Aside of the two unknowns, of those sometimes involved, one became a chef, one does stuff with computers, one emigrated and one died.
‘reign in blood’ is really fucking good.