Sound — 9
Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison is beyond respected as one of the best drummers in music, let alone hard rock and metal. But he is a multi-talented multi-instrumentalist, as his work in his newly exhumed Murderdolls project demonstrates. Murderdolls' Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls reared its grimy and glammy, horror rock head in 2002; that's a long fucking time ago, by pop culture standards. That album was big on B-movie kitsch and spawned a Billy Idol cover of White Wedding. The Dolls went dormant for nearly a decade, but Jordison and vocalist Wednesday 13, who has a penchant for penning your not-so-typical boy-kills-girl love stories, have rebooted the band. The music is more three-chord, power punk rock with a touch of pop sensibilities, in term of the melodies, but the guitar work is razor sharp, as is the songwriting. Women And Children Last is teeming with fist-pump anthems with less horror kitsch and more singability. Nowhere is perfect for the ghoulish goth who likes Motley Crue, as is Summertime Suicide. Seriously, I dare you to play these at maximum decibels and walk away without these choruses embedded in your dead head. Additionally, My Dark Place Alone has more hooks than a tacklebox. Jordison and Wednesday 13 hunkered down and put songwriting first, with Halloween-friendly image running a very close second. Speaking of the Crue, the Crue's legendary axeman Mick Mars plays on Blood Stained Valentine and Drug Me To Hell, further upping the rip and tear quotient of the albums riffs.
Lyrics — 9
While Wednesday has toned down some of the horror references, I am proud to report that F-ck You and in general, F-ck is probably the most used word in his lyrical repertoire. He's irreverent and he likes to say f-ck! Chapel Of Blood isn't as horrific as it might seem, but damn if Wednesday's gravelly vocals don't stab you in the ear like Jason Vorhees machete! Blood Stained Valentine is another of his offbeat love songs where he signs, You're like a bottle of poison / That I can't resist. In Murderdolls' world, that's a complement. Murderdolls traffic in blood-soaked romance, where the dark side is celebrated and glamourized. It's why the album is charged with a current of blackened fun.
Overall Impression — 9
With Joey Jordison and Wednesday 13, you always need to look at life (or in their case, death) through blood-colored glasses. The band has certainly affixed itself with an image of blood and guts, but the music is sleazy rock n' roll, swift melodies and punk rock stamina.