>I have to admit to being a bit surprised by the negative reaction of many to the song. It is our most popular tune at gigs and has people pogoing, singing along with the signature guitar riff, and headbanging by the end.
This doesn't surprise me at all. It's something that often happens -- songs that work well live don't always work so well on record. This is not necessarily due to a bad recording -- it can happen with good recordings too. Thing is, when you listen to a recording you're much more focused on the song itself, whereas in the live context the band's energy and charisma help sell the song. And this song is too basic and repetitive to cut it on record. (Mind you, I don't think it would cut it live either in the UK).
Improving the recording will help, but you'd still be polishing something that's always going to be a boring song on record. Like I said, what you have is a verse, not a whole song.