Tuesday, November 27, 2012
To start with the obvious differences, the Slash/London contain the single "Fuck Christmas", which was recorded during the sessions for The Record but wasn't issued until after the record was released. The Fear Record contains re-recorded versions of all fourteen tracks that were originally on The Record but most of the tracks run a few seconds longer than the original versions (though there is nothing noticeable added, so not a big deal). What is somewhat strange is that the tracks have been re-ordered on The Fear Record but there doesn't seem to be a discernible reason for this.
Here is what is different about the music...the sound of the The Fear Record is noticeably louder and a lot more 'dense' instrumentation has been added. The Record has a clean sound but there isn't much of a bottom end where there is a big bottom end on this new disc. What is also very noticeable is that original guitarist Philo Cramer's clean, angular guitar lines have been replaced by more metallic riffs and the drums on this new disc aren't quite as crisp sounding as the original recording. Lee Ving's voice has held up well over the years and the vocals are pretty comparable between the two recordings.
What this disc reminds me of is The Meatmen's 1988 'farewell' album We're the Meatmen...And You Still Suck!!! where these 'later period' guitarist Stuart Casson added a much more metallic edge to the music than the studio discs with his predecessor Brian Baker. All-in-all, The Fear Record isn't a bad disc - it just isn't different enough for anyone to want to go out and replace their copy of The Record.
Check out the 2012 lineup of Fear and you will get a sense for what the differences on The Fear Record sound like.