EXPLORER "Still Alive...And Now?"

By Dr. Abner Mality

No, this is not the sadly missed EXXPLORER (with two X's) from the 80's, but instead an Italian band that spent most of its career playing covers. That kind of makes sense, because this is a ham-fisted kind of second-tier thrash that sounds like many old bands but not quite with the same quality as said bands.

"Laser Attack" starts with a riff so old, it should be collecting Social Security and features extremely awkward vocals from Billy. The guy has a lot of energy, but it's obvious he barely knows a lick of English and the lyrics are frankly ridiculous. If I had to compare EXPLORER to anybody, it would be Germany's TANKARD, as they play thrash with a kind of fun, punky edge. No, they’re not as accomplished as the booze-hounds, but as the album goes on, it starts to exert a strange charm.

"Devil's Revenge" is a rough and ready thrasher (Devil is pronounced as DEE-VIL...oh,brother), the swearing on "1-3-1-2" is hilarious and "Killer Without Pity" and "Ten Commandments" surprise with some really strong, powerful riffs that make the head nod. While the guitar soloing won't make anybody forget YNGWIE, Jack gives it all he has.

So not a really top-notch album from EXPLORER, but one that's impossible to hate and that might even get the noggin wagging!