Though they had recently lost lyricist and principal songwriter Jason Newsted
, Arizona thrashers Flotsam & Jetsam
neatly avoided the sophomore slump with 1988's No Place for Disgrace
. The album basically repeats the formula of their debut but benefits from a cleaner yet still-in-your face production job. And while Newsted
collects a few co-writing credits, guitarist Michael Gilbert
takes over, guiding the band through the excellent title track, the morbid "Dreams of Death," and a chaotic version of Elton John
's "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting." "Escape from Within" is one of the album's two standouts, slowly building from its melodic intro into full-on thrashing intensity, gliding toward an apparent finale, then exploding again. The second standout has to be the brutal "I Live You Die," which gallops along on its massive bassline, twin guitar harmonies, and abrupt start-stop dynamics.