Mentalblog, Matisyahu, and Jewish Music's Equivalent to Anthrax
After reading Mentalblog's posts about Matisyahu, I went out and bought the CD. I am very impressed, especially with the song "Got No Water". Matisyahu successfully takes reggae and elevates it, infusing it with kedusha.
This brings me to Anthrax, a "thrash" or "speed-metal" band that was formed in the 1980's. They were my favorite band when I was in junior high and high school - and their guitar player Scott Ian was even Jewish. You always enjoy the music that you listened to growing up. You just can't shake it. Anthrax's music has such a power behind it that it effects me like no other music. Unlike other heavy metal groups, their lead singer actually sang, and sang lyrics about societal problems such a poverty, intolerance, racism, and drug addiction.
I am still waiting for Jewish music's equivalent to Anthrax. Maybe then I could listen solely to Jewish music. While I greatly enjoy Yosef Karduner and Simply Tsfat, I need something to listen to while I am running on the treadmill. I need something that rocks!
Matisyahu has shown us that it is possible to make Jewish music from genres of music that are not traditionally thought of as "Jewish". Is their anything innately wrong or "un-Jewish" with heavy metal music? How about if it is performed by Jewish musicians who sing about Jewish topics?
Forty years ago just the thought of putting Jewish songs to rock music was unheard of. It is not of unheard of today. It is quite commonplace. Just because something "has never been done before" isn't a reason why it cannot be done now. There aren't any specific halachos that prohibit "Jewish" heavy metal. If reggae can be taken an elevated, heavy metal sure can.
So, where is Jewish music's Anthrax?