Sound — 9
Women and Children Last is the second release by the horror-punk band, the Murderdolls, bringing together Wednesday 13 and Slipknot member Joey Jordison. This is also the band's first release in 8 years. Many of the musicians that played on the band's first record didn't stay on for Women and Children Last. Therefore, the album was almost entirely recorded by Wednesday and Joey. However, these two members are all the band needs in studio. The tracks on Women and Children sound just right, not exactly the same as the previous release, but also not straying too far from the Murderdolls' signature sound. The band sounds as fresh as ever, and obviously has not run out of ideas, with pleasant new titles such as Summertime Suicide, Homicide Drive, Death Valley Superstars, Drug Me To Hell, and more. The album starts off with an intro-track called The World According To Revenge. This dark, ticking song would surely drive you to insanity if it were a full length song, which, I'm guessing, was what the band was trying to achieve. Chapel of Blood is crunchy, clever, and vampiric, and though the title reflects an overuse of heavy metal stereotypes, the lyrics are comical and original. Bored 'Til Death wasn't one of my favorites, it seems more like filler, and unlike Chapel of Blood, this one is a little bit stereotypical. The next track, Drug Me To Hell, was one of my favorites off the album, a riff-laden drug anthem featuring the guitar work of Mick Mars. Mick's solo is simple, but extremely catchy. Track 5, Nowhere, sounds like glam metal straight from the 80's, not so much of a horror song, it's more of a spacey rebellion sort. Summertime Suicide, is somewhat similar to Nowhere, melody-wise. Another 80's throwback, it sounds like it could've been an unused Alice Cooper tune. Death Valley Superstars is another Alice Cooper sounding tune. It's classic Murderdolls down to the last riff, and definitely wouldn't have been out of place on Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls. My Dark Place Alone was the lead single from Women and Children Last, and is probably one of the heaviest songs on the record. I've heard many people complain that the song was too heavy for the Murderdolls, that they were trying to change their style too much with it, etc. But in reality, the track is a catchy song with lots of hooks. I think it's one of the best on the album. The next song on the album was another song done with Mick Mars, Blood-Stained Valentine. Musically, the song is like a cross between W.A.S.P. and stripped down Motley Crue, and lyrically a very clever one. Wednesday 13 may be the only guy that compares his girlfriend to a car crash. One wonders what his significant other (assuming he has one) thinks of it. Pieces of You wins my award for the best use of words like "decapitation" and "amputate" by a band. The sheer novelty of the words makes it memorable. I really can't tell what Homicide Drive is about at all, all I know is that it sounds really cool! Is it about drugs, religion, sex, death, or a strange mix of all of them? The world may never know. Rock n' Roll I All I Got is another cliche-fest, but in this case, I really don't mind, because this is still a perfect anthem for anyone living the rock n' roll lifestyle. And the song's riffs are as heavy as, well, something really heavy. Nothing's Gonna Be Alright is a little musically awkward in the chorus, in my opinion. The bit that goes "It's such a wonderful night/nothing's gonna be alright" and the rest of the song don't quite seem to fit together, and I'm sure some listeners will hear what I mean. Not one of my favorites. Whatever You Got, I'm Against It has blues Aerosmith style guitar work, and one riff that sounds like it was lifted from We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister. The song ends far too quickly at only 3:13 in length. I recommend savoring every second. The last song on Women and Children last, Hello, Goodbye, Die ends the album with a bang. The band's influences clearly show throughout the whole album.
Lyrics — 9
With clever lyrics like "You don't need luck when you don't give a f--k", and the bizarre Homicide Drive, Women and Children last is full of lyrics that defy cliches and show the cleverness and creepy creativity of the Murderdolls. Chapel of Blood perfectly reflects vampires while staying cliche free, and Blood-Stained Valentine has rather, umm..."creative" comparisons of Wednesday 13's beloved to common experiences and objects. Overall, the lyrics are quite intelligently written, for a band singing about decapitation and the undead. The music sounds as is Joey Jordison teamed up with the Devil to write it, and the crushing heavingness perfectly compilments the gory lyrics. Wendesday 13's voice is made for shock rock, as one of the most distinctive singers in the genre since Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. It's a voice you either love or hate, and it certainly wouldn't succeed in a genre other than heavy metal, but here, it's perfect. Wendesday sounds as nasty as ever, I think 8 years have made him an even better vocalist than before.
Overall Impression — 9
In a music scene full of Beyonce, Kesha, and Paramore, it's good to know that wild, true, shock rock is still going strong. This is among my favorite things I've heard so far this year. In ten years or so, I imagine this'll be a landmark album in shock rock. My favorite songs are probably Chapel of Blood, My Dark Place Alone, Drug Me To Hell, and Whatever You Got, I'm Against It. I'm not so keen on Nothing's Gonna Be Alright or Summertime Suicide. But aside from those, this album is amazing! If it were stolen, I'd definitely buy it again.