Their ground breaking 1986 debut Doomsday For The Deceiver was always going to be a tough act to follow especially when bassist and chief songwriter Jason Newsted left Flotsam And Jetsam to join Metallica but 3 years later they certainly came up with the goods with No Place For Disgrace, a touch more melodic in certain songs but the heavier songs raged hard and heavy. I can remember buying the vinyl and the first thing that hit me was the production. The guitars never had the clarity as on the debut and the drums seemed too low down in the mix to do the album any justice.
So here we are in 2014 and fans of the band have been asking for sometime for the album to be remastered and as the master tapes were not available, the band decided to completely re-record it. Some of the online message boards asked why it was re-recorded, saying they preferred the original but to my ears No Place For Disgrace 2014 is well worth waiting 25 years for and is an absolute triumph ! Everything about it is a vast sonic improvement as the title track and album opener thunders along with a full, huge sound. The twin guitars of Edward Carlson and Michael Gilbert serrate, thrash and churn over a furious drum assault by Kelly David Smith. Another noticeable difference is the vocal range of Eric A ‘AK’ Knutson. He is not hitting the banshee screams as he was back then but that does not detract from the enjoyment of the album as he still delivers a sterling performance to say the least.
I have played both versions of the album a few times and there are a few changes. ‘Dreams Of Death’ is twice as intense than the original, ‘N.E. Terror originally seemed a bit of a filler track but it now has a fire breathed into it making it a lot angrier. ‘Escape From Within’ has always been and underrated thrash power ballad but is now even more powerful. I was never keen on their cover of Elton John’s ‘Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) but the 2014 version stomps all over it. ‘Hard On You’ is another example of new life breathed into a should of been classic with a few changes of lyrics and ‘I Live You Die’ is the album highlight for me then and now, a 6 minute thrash classic with the added bonus now of hearing the technicality in the playing.
No Place For Disgrace 2014′ closes with the power trio of ‘Misguided Fortune’, ‘P.A.A.B’ and ‘The Jones’ bringing to an end just under an hour of essential thrash metal that will please older fans and gain them newer fans who missed out on them since they formed in Phoenix, Arizona 1981. The album has a UK release via Metal Blade Records on Feb.17th 2014, Feb 14th in the rest of Europe and and on the 18th in North America. Flotsam And Jetsam are currently touring Europe with Sepultura, Legion Of The Damned and Mortillery but UK fans will have to wait until August when they play on the main stage at the prestigious Bloodstock Festival.
Flotsam And Jetsam band line up :-
Kelly David Smith – Drums.
Eric A ‘AK’ Knutson – Vocals.
Edward Carlson – Guitars.
Michael Gilbert – Guitars.
Michael Spencer – Bass guitar.
Album track listing :-
No Place For Disgrace.
Dreams Of Death.
Escape From Within.
Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting).
Hard On You.
I Live You Die.