by Martin Popoff

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Fresh Metal

Rebel Meets Rebel - Rebel Meets Rebel
(Big Vin)

A few years back when I heard this thing was getting off the ground, I thought it would be way more country and not nearly as southern fried metal as it fortunately turned out to be. First spin of this was loud o'er headphones while working out and that, coupled with the Dime mood I've been in (still can't believe it), along with the jackhammer sound of the production... man, I had a blast with it. Never knew much about David Allan Coe, but I've heard the booze 'n' dope legends, and to be sure, he's evolved into a very weird looking old cat. Sure his vocals jar, especially given that the first track is his weakest performance, but eventually, you just get into the heavy Skynyrd/Blackfoot/Aerosmith-ness of it all. And that's the joy here, getting to check out Dime in rock 'n' rollsy redneck mode, hearing him boogie and hearing him funky. Actually, one is reminded that Pantera had some Slash-styled funk here and there as well, and damn it if that wasn't always a high point of a Pantera album - for example, something like Get Outta My Life and parts of No Compromise coulda fit on Vulgar. Then again, Cherokee Cry and 'Time' and Nothin' To Lose are like hard Skid Row hair metal. And it's all in good fun, toothless drunk country lyrics everywhere, while three-quarters of Pantera go all Jackyl on us. My promise to you: I'll be playing this much more than any ol' 8.5. In fact, two trips to the gym in the row with it speaks volume knobs.
Rating 8.5

Pantera - 3 Vulgar Videos From Hell

The beauty thing about this item is that it grabs the band's three VHS videos and sticks 'em in one place, along with allowing for chapter selection, which of course didn't work with the original video, not that you'd want to after several Black Tooth Grins, a Dime favourite. First thing that comes to mind is how many damn videos these guys made, the classy 'Mouth For War' being a particular fave. And given their penchant for relentless partying, it's no surprise how many friends they had - there's hijinx footage of the CBH with Skid Row, Alice in Chains, Suicidal Tendencies, Rob Halford, Exodus, and Tommy Lee, who gets his curly locks shorn live. A lot of bud, a lot of booze, the Hulk, Moscow, paper mache pot, comparisons of cuts and bruises, a number of small appliances smashed to bits... this is life on the road, and the fans love it, judging from the way they turn up in droves to get body parts signed (Phil: "Is anyone in school today?"). Cool to see Anselmo's hair change with the times (and Vin's recede), and his drawl get worse, cool to see how sort of commercial and almost quaint some of the early stuff sounds to metal-battered ears this century, and mainly, it's just cool to see Dime livin', laughing, hanging out with everybody no matter who they be. Summation: this is just a tidy package with the new technology compacting your Pantera collection so you can file, re-draw, shoot, reminisce and re-file - what will fall out of it is a new appreciation for how cool and singular and powerful this band was. I rate high but not too high, y'unnerstand, 'cos there are no extras, the graphics are kind of crude, as is a lot of the camcorder footage, and standards have just gone through the roof for how good DVDs can be now.
Rating 8

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