Flotsam and Jetsam – “No Place for Disgrace – 2014” (Metal Blade Records)
Originally released in 1988 as the successor to these Arizona thrashers’ groundbreaking debut, “No Place for Disgrace” was their first album without bassist Jason Newstead, who’d just left to join Metallica. Nevertheless, the album received rave reviews and sits respectably in my own vinyl collection, continuing their tradition in driving, heads down thrash with Eric AK’s quirky vocals being definitive in their sound. Over the years there have been many calls to re-mix the album given the new technology available nowadays, but sadly when the band and original producer Bill Metoyer came around to doing so the masters were amiss. Being the Flots, rather than disappoint the fans, the band set about re-recording the entire album! I haveta say that I had my reservations as I simply could not see how the band could physically record something faster and that’s certainly true on the new tracks, being a tad slower than their originals although there’s nothing that takes away the ferocity from songs like ‘N.E. Terror’ or my personal fave ‘I Live You Die’ even to this day. However, the mix is where the contention will surely lie – depending on how much Harry Headbanger is in you, you may still prefer the original bottom heavy, stuffed into a garbage compactor mix – and I certainly do. But, if you really want to appreciate the music, and “No Place for Disgrace” certainly had it’s fair share of technically proficient songs, then you can now actually hear what’s going on as each instrument is even more audible in the mix especially the bordering virtuoso solo work of Ed Carlson and Michael Gilbert on ‘Misguided Fortune’. Eric’s vocals are also a little less spaced out this time round, making them sit more comfortably in the material that on balance deserves to be respected as an album in its own right. If you don’t own the original I wouldn’t commit Hara Kiri but if you do and always yearned for a cleaner mix, then “No Place for Disgrace – 2014” does the job – and a whole lot more.