Decidedly non-grinding this time out, but I can't let the fact that both the Dead Kennedys and Slayer - probably two of the most defining bands of my pre-grind high school experience - have songs called "Chemical Warfare." The juxtaposition of Jello Biafra's comical indictment of chest-thumping militarism hilariously bounces off of Slayer's attempt to be all scary and serious and dark and oh sooooo metal.
The Dead Kennedys lived by Voltaire's prayer, and the 1980s provided them plenty of fodder for their sneering assault on stifling Reagan-era conformity. Biafra took the jingoistic fellating of the military and the United States' war-mongering prowess that was de rigueur at the time and upended it. What better target for liberated chemical weapons than your local country club?
In Slayer's hands, "Chemical Warfare" becomes an awesome, abrasive slab of relentless thrash that stands out on their finest all around release, Haunting the Chapel. (As an aside, can we all finally just admit that Reign in Blood is two great songs bookending a bunch of really meh filler? I mean, is there really a garage band out there clamoring to add "Reborn" or "Necrophobic" to their repertoire?) There is no humor to be had here. The jokers will only die laughing.
For totally bonus shits 'n' giggles, here's Sepultura's "Rest in Pain (R.I.P.)," which liberally steals from the Dead Kennedys' "Chemical Warfare" as it fades out.