Hardcore metalheads are very well aware of the great music Arizona metal veterans Flotsam and Jetsam published since the mid-1980s. My favourite of their albums has always been their 1988 Elektra-release “No Place for Disgrace”. The album is musically and production-wise characteristic of that time and contains some great metal anthems, such as the title-track “No Place for Disgrace”, “N.E. Terror”, or the Elton John-cover “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”.
Fast-forward 25 years, frontman Eric A.K. Knutson and his men want to re-release “No Place for Disgrace” but the master-tapes could not be retrieved from Elektra, who over the years have been restructured, sold, taken-over, and whatnot. Hence, Flotsam and Jetsam decided to re-record the entire album in the home of their guitarist, Michael Gilbert, as A.K. explains in our #FHTZ interview (check out the full-length interview here). In an interview with Blabbermouth, the band comments that “The aim was not really to change but to enhance it with the opportunity with the use of new tools. We have the time available as well, and it just seemed like a no-brainer.”
The 1988 Elektra/Roadrunner release is characterised by a 1980s heavy metal feel. The sound is wider and more atmospherical, given the amount of reverb in the mix. I can imagine that this kind of feel also comes from the album being recorded on an analogue tape machine, which was the standard back then – and I surely like that feel! The 2014 Metal Blade release sounds much tighter in regard to performance and recording. Obviously, the band had two and a half decades to improve on the performance. In addition, modern recording techniques can provide better sound – for lack of better words – than back in the days.
I am proud to own both releases and enjoy listening to both on different occasions. Even though Flotsam and Jetsam did stick to the original songs for their re-recorded 2014 version, the new album feels different than the original. Nevertheless, it is a great complimentary album, which needs to be found in any heavy metal album collection. And if Flotsam and Jetsam come to your town for a gig, you better go see them, because their music is even better live than on CD or vinyl. I can vouch for that.
You can watch our #FHTZ interview with Flotsam and Jetsam frontman Eric A.K. Knutson here: