Has it really been thirty years* since Acid Reign last released an album? Time has been a lot kinder to the UK’s premier thrashers in those three decades than it has to yours truly. While my knees are shot, my left shoulder is a mess and an old back injury put paid to my stage diving days a decade or so back, I can verify that H the erstwhile and forever young frontman of Acid Reign is in better shape than he’s ever been, having caught him and his bunch of thrash rapscallions live not so long ago. And he’s not the only one in fine, fighting form – Acid Reign are too. Truth be told, they’ve never sounded better and The Age of Entitlement isn’t just a comeback, or reboot, record, it proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that things, especially thrash bands originally from the North of England, really do get better with age**.
Tighter, far more focussed and driven than the records that Acid Reign made their mosh bones with, The Age of Entitlement doesn’t hang around, pause for breath or waste any time, it gets straight down to business and does exactly what it’s supposed to. It thrashes you within an inch of your life. Pushing aside the loveable thrash clowns image that they cultivated during the late eighties, Acid Reign are a far more serious proposition these days, albeit without taking themselves too seriously.
That said, they haven’t completely lost their sense of fun, they’ve just realised that there’s a time and place for it and that they don’t have to let it be their dominant facet. And the end result of them taking control of their own destiny is an incredibly cohesive, honed and razor sharp record that’s achieved a perfect balance between brutal, immediate, catchy as syphilis in a cheap inner city brothel thrash and intelligent, relevant, socially and politically aware lyrics. Who knew that these aging miscreants would turn in one of the albums of the year? Applecore is not only alive and well, it’s positively thriving… Tim Cundle
*Before any of you pedantic thrash maniacs get all snippy, I know it’s actually twenty nine years since they released their last album. It’s called artistic licence.
** In fact, they’re so bloody good, it’s enough to make you want to vomit. Jealousy is a cruel, unforgiving mistress.