Following the reissue of the Californian speedcore merchants benchmark debut album "Convicted", there is some debate over whether that or follow-up "Money Talks" is the better of the two.Beyond the sonic rage factor to be taken into consideration, the artwork is certainly superior on 1987's "Money Talks". Drawn by Jeff Harp from the equally legendary FINAL CONFLICT, it's an evocative collage of Ronald Reagan waving dollars at mesmerized crowds against a backdrop of mushroom clouds and stacks of nuclear missiles. Musically, well, it's a fairly close-run thing. To these ears, "Convicted" shades it for memorable songs and production impact (hence the one mark difference between the albums on BLABBERMOUTH.NET's lengthy scoring scale), but those in the know may well disagree. Whatever, "Money Talks" has plenty to raise a defiant fist and shout about. Once again, the opening title track sets the stall out with a blast 'n' crunch tirade against greed and "the American dream". Other highlights include the breathless "Set Your Own Pace", lyrically poignant "American Heroes" and, despite the double-bass drumming on it making Lars Ulrich sound like Neal Peart by comparison, the riotous "Tables Are Turned". As with the "Convicted" reissue, there are a few extras, such as live tracks from their ill-fated 1988 summer tour and rehearsal tracks for what was to become their off-form third album "Stream of Consciousness". The former don't make for easy listening considering the tour was shortly to implode prematurely, but the rawness of the album rehearsal tracks actually lend a modicum of fresh credibility to the disappointing "Stream...". Got "Convicted"? Well, "Money Talks" should walk right onto the shelf next to it. Easy decision.
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