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Flotsam & Jetsam
This band was an early favorite of mine. I have always held that their first two discs are classics, but this band will never be able to get out from under the shadow of Jason Newsted who left the band after their first album to join Metallica.

Doomsday for the Deceiver Flotsam & Jetsam-Doomsday for the Deceiver (Metal Blade) 1986

1."Hammerhead" (6:11)
2."Iron Tears" (3:50)
3."Desecrator" (3:47)
4."Fade to Black" (2:04)
5."Doomsday for the Deceiver" (9:10)
6."Metalshock" (8:15)
7."She Took an Axe" (5:14)
8."U.S.L.W." (4:20)
9."Der Fuhrer" (5:42)
10."Flotzilla"-instrumental (6:09)

"Doomsday" is a bit rough in the production department, but growing up with this album, it just sits in my mind as a classic album. This disc had everything we were looking for in a metal band in the 80's; thrashing aggression ("Desecrator," "Iron Tears"), long epic songs ("Metalshock," "Doomsday") and a bit of humor ("Hammerhead"). "Flotzilla" is a cool, and humerous, name for the instrumental. Of course everybody knows that this is the album that Jason Newsted (Metallica) played on. Actually, he wrote most of the material on Doomsday. (So, what happened to Jason when he went to Metallica? Seems to me he was stifled.) Anyhow, replaced my vinyl with the cd for free (sort of) through BMG.

No Place for Disgrace Flotsam & Jetsam-No Place For Disgrace (Elektra) 1988

1."No Place for Disgrace" (6:11)
2."Dreams of Death" (5:40)
3."N.E. Terror" (5:57)
4."Escape from Within" (6:47)
5."Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" (4:00)
6."Hard on You" (4:51)
7."I Live, You Die" (5:50)
8."Misguided Fortune" (5:29)
9."P.A.A.B." (5:33)
10."The Jones"-instrumental (3:57)

Yes, this is the album that has the Elton John cover on it. Why is that all that people remember from this album? Anyhow, "No Place for Disgrace" was recorded and released after Newsted left for Metallica, but many of the songs were co-written by him, including "I Live, You Die" This song also appears on Metal Blade's "Metal Massacre VII" with Jason playing on it. The songs, with the exception of the "Saturday..." which I could have done without, are just as powerful and solid as those on "Doomsday." The lyrical themes range from dying in a coma ("Escape from Within") to the P.M.R.C. ("Hard on You") to suicide ("No Place for Disgrace.")

When The Storm Comes Down Flotsam & Jetsam-When the Storm Comes Down (MCA) 1990

1."The Master Sleeps" (4:35)
2."Burned Device" (6:26)
3."Deviation" (3:04)
4."October Thorns" (5:33)
5."No More Fun" (3:45)
6."Suffer the Masses" (6:05)
7."6, Six, VI" (5:05)
8."Greed" (4:24)
9."E.M.T.E.K." (5:49)
10."Scars" (4:14)
11."K.A.B." (0:25)

Uh, oh, looks like Flots is starting to lose it on this one. No where near the intensity, or even the hooks, that the first two had. Still, not a bad listen in my opinion. "The Master Sleeps" is a cool song-sort of a cross between Anthrax and Metal Church. "K.A.B." stands for Kill All Bastards. (Stupid!) The band offers some comments on the lyrics for each song which is cool. I had never seen this one used so I finally broke down and traded a disc I only sort of liked for it. Wouldn't you know, only two days later I find a NEW copy in the cut-out bin at Hasting's for only $3.99. Argh! I bought it anyhow and traded the used copy for something else I wanted.

Cuatro Flotsam & Jetsam-Cuatro (MCA) 1992

1."Natural Enemies" (3:35)
2."Swatting at Flies" (4:03)
3."The Message" (4:32)
4."Cradle Me Now" (4:04)
5."Wading Through the Darkness" (6:06)
6."Double Zero" (3:43)
7."Never to Reveal" (4:16)
8."Forget About Heaven" (4:47)
9."Secret Square" (5:21)
10."Hypodermic Midnight Snack" (3:46)
11."Are You Willing" (4:00)
12."(Ain't Nothing Gonna) Save This World" (3:45)

Hmm, a bit of a slacker here compared to everything else they put out. Sentinel Steel Magazine called it "alternative rock." Well, I wouldn't go that far, it's still metal but without the umph of "No Place" or "Doomsday." I dunno, guess I'll have to listen to it again. Paid $1.99 in the used bins.

Flotsam & Jetsam-Drift (MCA) 1995

1. "Me" (3:18)
2. "Empty Air" (3:50)
3. "Pick A Widow" (3:47)
4. "12 Year Old with a Gun" (3:29)
5. "Missing" (5:57)
6. "Blindside" (3:35)
7. "Remember" (3:46)
8. "Destructive Signs" (4:54)
9. "Smoked Out" (6:08)
10. "Poet's Tail" (3:57)

It must suck to constantly have your new projects compared to old albums, but it is inevitable. "Drift" is a good metal album, although I still don't think it stands up to the first few albums. There are some really good songs on drift however, especially the last few, which really stand out. "Destructive Signs" is a very cool song, although unusual for Flots because it is an acoustic number. The song shows that they have a lot of talent. I especially dig the acoustic leads throughout the song that are played skillfully. "Smoke Out" is an aggressive song that sounds as if it were written with a whole lot of anger. I don't know, perhaps I have just associated too much nostalgia with the first few discs and nothing Flotsam does will ever top those discs. Or, may be those first few albums were just that much better.

High Flotsam & Jetsam-High (Metal Blade) 1997

. "Final Step" (6:40)
2. "Hallucinational" (3:16)
3. "It's One Me" (3:24)
4. "High-Noon" (5:19)
5. "Your Hands" (3:28)
6. "Monster" (3:41)
7. "Lucky Day" (4:53)
8. "Toast" (2:56)
9. "High" (3:31)
10. "Everything" (6:02)
11. "Fork-Boy" (3:54)

Flots are one of those bands that I have followed since their debut. To me those first two albums are heavy metal classics, and everything that has followed pales in comparison. When "High" first came out I didn't really like it and thought perhaps that the band was a bit too high, and released a stinker. I didn't finally get this copy until after purchasing "Unnatural Selection." In retrospect, however, I have grown to like this disc quite a bit. What "High" is made of is 100% pure heavy metal. The hooks are in the music, but are just not the kind that come right out and grab you from the first listen. After repeated listens, this disc is now one of my favorites. As usual for Flots, there are lots of dynamics in the music, excellent solos, and Eric A.K.'s smooth, yet aggressive vox. Thanks to Metal Blade for signing one of America's finest power metal bands. No thanks to the big labels who did nothing for this great band. If anyone from Flotsam & Jetsam ever reads this, keep flying your metal freak flag!

Unnatural Selection Flotsam & Jetsam-Unnatural Selection (Metal Blade) 1999

1."Dream Scrape" (4:10)
2."Chemical Noose" (4:12)
3."Promise Keepers" (4:33)
4."Liquid Noose" (3:59)
5."Falling" (3:39)
6."Fuckers" (5:59)
7."Brain Dead" (4:32)
8."Way to Go" (4:26)
9."Win, Lose or Dead" (4:27)
10."Welcome to the Bottom" (5:14)

Far better than some of their past discs. I couldn't stand "High," (at first) thus the reason it (was) missing from my collection. The music is a return to their more thrash roots, which is good. I guess all things come around, even record labels, as Flots have returned home to Metal Blade, which is probably where they should have stayed as I have read that they were jacked around by MCA and Elektra. In any case, "Fuckers" is STUPID. "Hey look at us, we can cuss." "Promise Keepers" takes a bit of a stab at the Christian movement by the same name by relating it to battered, abused, or oppressed women.. (Whatever, this is just not true. Promise Keepers promotes putting your wife as FIRST importance, not the opposite as people would have you believe.) Anyhow, lyrics aside, the music is enjoyable although that bass drum is really loud and clicky. Picked this one up through BMG.

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