The Rods are a New York classic metal power trio that never got anywhere near the respect they were due in the 80’s. They weren’t flashy and their hair wasn’t big but The Rods knew how to let loose. Though not as spirited as fellow New Yorkers Riot, The Rods had their own style of street-level appeal that garnered them a following….and the band certainly released some solid albums in the 80’s.
High Roller Records recently reissued two of The Rods’ classic 80s albums – Let Them Eat Metal (1984) and Heavier Than Thou (1986) – and both have been given a new lease of life with their remastering.
Musically, The Rods may be remembered most for their 1983 classic heavy rock album Wild Dogs – with an impressive painted cover of Cerebus – but the band may instead live in infamy for the horrid cover photo of a scantily-clad woman who has a metal dildo in her hand on Let Them Eat Metal.
Of the two re-releases Heavier Than Thou [8/10] is definitely the better of the two and found The Rods acquiring a new singer, Schmoulik Avigal (fomerly of Dutch metal band Picture), making them a quartet with a new level of vocal intensity and quality. Like the title suggests, The Rods got heavier as the 80s went on, embracing a more traditional power metal direction and they should have achieved more fame and fortune for their efforts. Overall, Heavier Than Thou is an amazing release and its only flaw is an unnecessary cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown” which fails to deliver.
With Let Them Eat Metal [6/10], The Rods continued with the street metal appeal and low-brow lyrics found on the aforementioned Wild Dogs (1982) and 1983’s In The Raw. However, while a good album, Let Them Eat Metal can’t compare to either Wild Dogs or Heavier Than Thou, with both guitarist David “Rock” Feinstein and Carl Cannedy on vocals proving that, even as a duo, they were far less effective than when Schmoulik Avigal was behind the mic. It’s a solid album but the far weaker of the two re-releases.
It’s great that lovers of classic metal can now hear The Rods with an updated sound, instead of crappy 80’s CD technology, as this is one band that fully deserves to be rediscovered by fans of NYC 80’s metal!