Sound — 9
It was the 17th of June this year. My GCSE's were in full flow, the girl I was seeing was giving me grief and the World Cup was rubbish. I did have one positive though. That was the date that I first heard the new Murderdolls song, 'My Dark Place Alone'. Mothers, lock yup your daughters! Mutilate your children and cook your husbands! The Murderdolls are back in town. It truly was remarkable and I instantly marked their upcoming release as one to watch. As well as the fact that it was Murderdoll's first new material in 8 years was only a part of my new found love. Now, just to clarify, I was never a massive fan of 'Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls'. I was always a 'Translyvania 90210' kinda guy. To me, 'Women And Children Last' is the natural successor to 'Transylvania'. It seems that they've grown up. The lyrics are still over-the-top but they're no longer about zombies and Dracula. They have real life (if slightly extreme, to say the least) roots. The overall sound is all a lot more complete and siniter. An example is 'Bored Til' Death'. It has a very dark ambience but still makes you smile. The album is 80% Horror and 40% fun which is good maths in my book. The musicianship isn't the most amazing that you'll ever hear but I think that works to their favour. Someimes, simple music, when delivered in the right manner, can be the most effective. I believe that to the case here. Joey Jordison probably won't be remembered for his contributions to the world of guitar but he does put out some nice little riffs. Overall, I'd say that the point of the guitars in this album is not to show off and say "Look what I can do!" but rather to compliment Wednesday 13 who is, in my opinion, their most valuable asset. I'll come to him in a minute. To sum up then, the overall sound is a more mature and darker than any of their previous collaborations and I think that they've justified the 8 year wait.
Lyrics — 8
Moving on to Wednesday 13 now; First things first, he has a new haircut. Now that that's out the way, I'll move on to his voice. Mr. 13 is very unique. He certainly has a very distinct sound which is good for any band but especially good in Murderdoll's case. Without a distinctly different sounding singer, their campy, gory, "Everything's shit and I'm going to kill you all." mentality wouldn't be as effective. Lyrically, they won't win any awards. I think that's a given. That's not to say that they're not catchy though. 'Summertime Suicide' in particular is very infectious. The lyrics work because they are over-the-top and suit the whole band image. Looking at a couple of examples now: in 'Bored Til' Death', Wednesday's cry of "I've got an obsession with Smith and Wesson" is worthy of a chuckle or two (Smith and Wesson being a manufacturer of guns for you unenlightened people out there). In 'Death Valley Superstars', the repeated line of "Put your faith in the bullet in the head of someone you know" is chilling and funny in it's histrionic brutality. Just a warning for you parents out there, as you may have deduced already, this album might not be ideal for little kids. It also has a lot of casual swearing. Of course, I probably don't need to warn you as I doubt many people would buy their 6 year old an album from a band called Murderdolls but still, I feel obliged to forewarn you.
Overall Impression — 9
I am very, very pleased with the final product. In my opinion, it could be as good as (or better than) 'Transylvania 90210'. I won't give it an album of the year award just yet though, as I don't know if it'll beat Slash's album or Stone Sour's new effort next week but it is certainly a contender. I don't doubt that a number of you will loathe them. Murderdolls are the musical equivalent of Marmite; you either love 'em or hate 'em. I'm certainly in the 'love' camp. If you are too, I cannot recommend any songs off this album (waits for disbelief after such a glowing review). They're all too good to single individual efforts out! At some point today when you have about 40 minutes spare, give this album a listen through. Perhaps you'll be as smitten as I am. If not, that's cool. Just don't don't hate the Dolls.