Published on February 26th, 2020 | by Justin G.
Bodine: Anthology (Pseudonym, 2019)The Pseudonym label closed out 2019 by showing some love to the long out of print back catalogs of two classic Dutch hard rock bands: Bodine and Vengeance. Both bands coincidentally featured the talents of guitarist (and future Ayreon mastermind) Arjen Anthony Lucassen, and both bands got career-spanning box sets. Bodine was the earlier band, emerging just as the NWOBHM sound was changing the equation in Europe. Their heavy, grooving rock n’ roll sound took some of the ‘70s era staples (think Foghat and Nazareth) and added a metallic sheen. They were gritty yet melodic, and had similarities to fellow Dutch band Picture as well as NWOBHM bands like Saxon and Jaguar. The new Bodine box set is titled simply Anthology, and covers the band’s three studio albums plus an assortment of bonus material, all of which has been newly remastered. Here’s what you get in this four-disc set: Disc 1: Bodine – The band’s 1981 self-titled debut kicks things off. The full album is featured here. The 1996 reissue had originally featured eight bonus tracks, all of which are featured later in this set on the Bodinisms disc. Disc 2: Bold As Brass – The band’s 1982 sophomore album is featured here. It’s just the standard album. There was no bonus material originally, so there’s nothing to add. It’s a hell of an album on its own though, and may be the best of the three. Disc 3: Three Times Running – The band’s 1983 album is their third and final release. It includes the full album plus the single version of “Shout.” Disc 4: Bodinisms – This 15-track collection brings together all of Bodine’s “odds and ends” that didn’t make the main albums. Mostly demos and outtakes, but there is also a 9-minute audio interview. None of this material is essential, but as a completist, these tracks are a nice addition. All of the albums in this set have been newly remastered, which is a plus. The sonic upgrade isn’t anything drastic, but it does clean things up a bit and puts all of the albums on the same level. The packaging on Anthology is similar to what Pseudonym used for their Helloise box set a few years ago (albeit a bit slimmer): a fairly sturdy clamshell box with each disc in its own cardboard sleeve. There’s also a very thick booklet with a Rock Candy-style band history, detailed individual liner notes and lots of vintage photos. All told it’s a nicely put-together set. The price tag for this set is in the $40-50 range at the moment, which is a lot higher per disc than the Helloise and Vengeance box sets. It’s still a good value overall, especially when you factor in how rare the 1996 CD versions of Bodine and Three Times Running are, and the fact that Bold As Brass was never released on CD at all. This comprehensive set is the perfect “one stop shopping” way for fans to discover this overlooked early hard rock/heavy metal band. It has all the vintage Bodine material you could hope for, it all sounds fantastic, and the packaging is really nice. It’s a limited run though, so don’t sleep on this one.
Bang For The Buck
Summary: Perfect anthology of this cult Dutch hard rock band