Lizzy Borden – Love you to Pieces
1985, Metal Blade Records
There are days that you do your hair, put on your make-up, wear your most fabulous outfit and strut around like you own the earth, because damn, you just feel so good.
Today was not one of those days.
As I shook off what shall henceforth be known as the Great Hangover of 2017, it dawned on me that I have one day left at work. One day at a job I love, in a hospital ten minutes from my house, surrounded by people I have come to lean on for support and advice on a daily basis. For the next six months, I now face a forty-five minute commute to work, in a specialty that terrifies me, because everything that I learned for my exam has slowly seeped out of my brain and been replaced by ‘there is a fracture, I need to fix it‘. As if this transition wasn’t scary enough, applications for a National Training Number draw ever closer, and my dusty textbooks mock me from their corner of exile on my desk.
Today was the sort of day when I needed to just throw on my leopard-print onesie and monster feet, and crawl into the listening corner with my poop-emoji cushion and stress sausage, because I couldn’t deal with being a grown-up. I couldn’t even listen to anything remotely emotional because otherwise I’d just burst into tears and I’m a really ugly crier. I just wanted to feel like a kid again – I needed something dirty and wrong, so out came Lizzy Borden.
Cover art has never been one of their strong points, but Love You to Pieces is particularly awful. Anyone could be forgiven for mistaking them for a hair band, after all, a gold telephone on a gilded chest of drawers does give off that vibe. The music however, is pure textbook United States power metal.
Gene Allen and Tony Matuzak are perhaps the most criminally overlooked guitar-duo of the 80s – their razor sharp chops and perfectly executed twin harmonies make for an album chock-full of heavy metal anthems. Lizzy Borden’s voice is the perfect accompaniment, alternating between bloodcurdling shrieks and lascivious snarls…. just so rarrrr.
From Council for the Cauldron, exploding into a riot of speed and gunfire drums, to the beautiful bass intro to Rod of Iron, there is not one song that fails to get me headbanging til more beer has gone on the floor than in my belly. Political climate be damned, American Metal is one of the best songs ever written – ‘May the dust never settle, Heavy metal will never die’! Even the slower tunes like Save Me and Love you to Pieces are just so delightfully disturbing – and if you don’t thrust your fist in the air to ‘home sweet home, true colours are now shown, kicked in the face alone’, then I’m not sure we can be friends.
Well, after that white hot injection of power, I’m still in my onesie. I’m still not ready to adult. But I might be riled up enough to dig out my filofax and dust off the old doorstops. So what if today wasn’t my day. Yesterday certainly wasn’t either. But tomorrow – that bastard is mine.