A MORE DETAILED LIST OF GRIEVANCES AGAINST JOEY BELLADONNA
The other day this rumor started to spread that Joey Belladonna is reuniting with Anthrax yet again, and I expressed displeasure. And a lot of you expressed displeasure with my displeasure. And there seemed to be some confusion over why I actually dislike Joey B. So I thought I’d try to present a semi-rational argument explaining why I so greatly prefer John Bush.
First of all, I don’t hate the Belladonna-era Anthrax recordings. There wouldn’t be a Sound of White Noise or We’ve Come for You All if there hadn’t been a Spreading the Disease or Among the Living. Of course I respect those albums! I love a whole lotta those songs, too. But when I was a kid and I heard “Madhouse” and “Caught in a Mosh,” I usually thought something along the lines of “Gee, this is a good band. It’s too bad their singer sounds like a vagina.” If you ask me, Joey Belladonna was the James LaBrie of his day.
So, yeah. John Bush sounds like a man. That’s definitely one point in his favor. Ever heard him do “N.F.L.?” It sounds about a million times heavier. And betterer.*
Also, I’ve seen Bushthrax and Bellanthrax live, and Joey just isn’t as much fun to watch. Why? Again, James LaBrie syndrome: he’s a tool. He doesn’t have half the amount of charisma or presence as John Bush.
But beyond all of that… I really just think that as Anthrax’s career progressed, they got heavier and heavier, and had just outgrown Belladonna. By the time Anthrax recorded Persistence of Time, Belladonna just sounded out of place.
And that’s the real reason I don’t want Belladonna to re-join the group: artistically speaking, he’d be a huge step backwards. Anthrax aren’t gonna record another Among the Living any more than Metallica are gonna record another Ride the Lighting; the difference is, Anthrax’s creative progression was AWESOME, and showed the band continuing to rock fucking faces off, while ‘Tallica teamed up with Ja Rule and released a song about flushing the toilet.
And so, once again, I’d like to say that I really, really, really hope John Bush is back in Anthrax for good, and I really, really, really hope that Joey Belladonna is not. And if you still disagree with me, well… pppppffffftttt.
*And, yes, I know it’s hypocritical to be pro-The Greater of Two Evils when I’ve always been anti-re-recording of old material with a new line-up in the past. I give Anthrax a free pass because Evils is a collection of songs, not a single album, like Exodus’ Bonded by Blood redux, Let there be Blood; and unlike Arch Enemy’s song collection re-recording, The Root of All Evil (geez, these people really like using the word “evil” for these things), it’s all single takes done live in the studio with a small group of Anthrax fans present, so it’s almost a live album. These are fine distinctions to make, I know, but I’m a nerd – fine distinctions are what I live for.