After becoming famous for their legal troubles, Beatallica have, incredibly, managed to defy the copyright monster and stick around long enough to produce a few officially released albums. Beatallica, arguably the most famous mash-up band ever, furthers their metal dominance with this massively enjoyable sophomore album.
Beatallica is the most formulaic of bands, but they’ve found a formula that works exceptionally well. All their songs are combinations of Metallica songs and Lennon/McCartney classics, with titles to match —my personal favorites are “I Wanna Choke Your Band” and “The Thing That Should Not Let It Be.” Beatallica are incomparably silly, but they nonetheless demonstrate considerable talent. Singer Jaymz Lennfield achieves a spot-on James Hetfield impersonation, and exact copies of famous Metallica guitar solos abound as the band shifts effortlessly from bouncy, major-key Beatles melodies to banging metal thrash-fests.
Beatallica may seem trivial at first glance, but I see something more profound at work under its humorous veneer. Their music follows in a long tradition of stealing ideas from thoroughly unlikely sources—from John Coltrane’s recording of “My Favorite Things” to Mozart’s variations on “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Masterful Mystery Tour is not only a hilarious and shrewd piece of parody, but an eloquent statement that it’s not what you do that matters, but how you do it.