BEATALLICA – Sgt. Hetfield’s Motorbreath Pub Band

BEATALLICA - Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band
  • 6/10
    BEATALLICA - Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band - 6/10


Oglio Records
Release date: July 10, 2007

User Review
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The Beatles with balls! Beatallica’s ingenious melding of Metallica and the Beatles is as sonically satisfying as it is conceptually stimulating. The songs on Sgt. Hetfield’s Motorbreath Pub Band are hybrids, merging the tunefulness of the Fab Four with the toughness of Metallica’s Thrash Metal.

Beatallica’s conceit is to create a combination of combinations — sets of mash-up cover songs. When they are something more than mere attempted imitations, cover songs combine the original performance with the newer artist’s signature sound. Covers are cool because you hear them in a weird sort of stereophonic way — the original version is in your head as the new one comes in through your ears. Mash-ups — like Modest Mouse’s The Grey Album, integrating Jay Z’s Black Album with the Beatles’ White Album — allow a producer to fuse together two different songs.

Beatallica executes a double play by inventively combining a Beatles’ song with one by Metallica in each cut. They take songs from different eras of each band, both of which were notable, if not notorious for their style changes. One of the best songs here, “Blackened The U.S.S.R.,” is an amalgam of the Beatles’ “Back In The U.S.S.R.” with Metallica’s “Blackened.” “… And Justice For All My Loving” marries “All My Loving” to “… And Justice for All.” “Helvester Of Skelter” lashes “Helter Skelter” to “Harvester Of Sorrow.” You get the idea.

As plant and animal breeders know, some hybrids lack vigor, taking the worst traits of both parents — things that should not be. Imagine the lame “Enter Sandman” joined to the ultimate in sappiness, “Yesterday”. Beatallica’s rehearsal room floor must be littered with such aborted abominations.

The melodies are mainly the Beatles’ while the riffs belong to Metallica. But, the performance of each song erases all traces of the Beatles. Jaymz Lennfield does a spot-on version of Hetfield’s braying. Ringo Larz channels Ulrich’s power at his peak of perfection some 20 years ago. Kliff McBurtney’s bass harkens back to Cliff Burton, sounding nothing like anything Paul McCartney would ever play — its the heavy that gives Heavy Metal its first name.

The lyrics are even more imaginatively intertwined than the music, metallicizing the Beatles words. For example, the chorus to “Blackened the U.S.S.R.” :

“We’re blackened the U.S.S.R.
Kirk, Cliff, me, and Larz-ohhh!
Blackened the U.S.S.R.”

The title track begins:

“It was 20 years ago today
Motorhead taught this band to play
At first they were so out of style
But they’re guaranteed to raise your bile
So may I introduce to you
The act that drank 1000 beers
Sgt. Hetfield’s Motorbreath pub band”

Visuals also meld both bands. The album’s cover takes the drum from Sgt. Pepper’s cover and uses it in the same way – as a surface on which to write the album’s title. But, the image is Metallica-cized, encircled by the steel teeth of a circular saw blade.

Sgt. Hetfield’s Motorbreath Pub Band demonstrates that creativity in Rock is not restricted to writing songs or coming up with a great signature sound. Genre bending and blending has its own compelling delights.


  • Deena Dasein

    Deena was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Chicago, USA. Being deeply rooted in the music industry, she's had reviews and interviews of a decidedly Metal sort published in a wide variety of periodicals for several years, including the Illinois Entertainer, U.S. Rocker, R.A.W., Guitar World, Metal Hammer, Rock Brigade, weekly newspapers, and online sites. Her main musical interests include Black and Death Metal, and she also continues to enjoy Thrash and Classic Metal.

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