State of Euphoria
Released September 19, 1988
The year 1988 was a joyous time for this nineteen year old metal loving teenager. Most everyone I know at the time were enthralled with Metallica’s…And Justice for All; released on August 25th of that year and rightly so. For me though, the other big release of that year came a month later in the form of State of Euphoria courtesy of New York City’s Anthrax. It was the fourth studio release from these East Coast thrash pioneers and it reached number 30 on the Billboard 200 chart and went certified gold in early ’89. Not bad for a band riding high off the heels of previous release Among the Living (considered a thrash classic). For my money’s worth, this album tore me to pieces in ways that Justice couldn’t. The thrash was frenetic at times; coupled with smart lyrics and packaged with a mind-disorienting cover image that I kept looking at over and over.
The songs on State displayed a more sardonic and witty side of the band and backed by my favourite track “Make Me Laugh” (about the evils of Televangelism). Of course, the group dipped back into Stephen King territory for “Misery Loves Company” and used David Lynch’s scatological brain-fuck – Blue Velvet as inspiration for “Now It’s Dark”. There’s also some social commentary centering on the urban troubles of homelessness for “Who Cares Wins” and a cover of “Antisocial” from the band Trust that has now become a popular staple in their live set.
There are some that say this album failed to live up to expectations following Among the Living, but yet the band decided to reveal a whimsical side; just based on utilizing Mad Magazine’s Mort Drucker for the back cover album art. For me though, the band’s solidarity is proof when you consider the tours they went out on with Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Metallica and Living Colour; thus cementing their thrash metal elite status of that year.
My favorite tracks on this are: “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”, “Make Me Laugh”, “Antisocial”, “Who Cares Wins”, “Now It’s Dark” and “Misery Loves Company”. I’m giving this a whopping 9 out of 10.