The Murderdolls were originally formed in the early 2000s by vocalist Wednesday 13 and Slipknot/Rob Zombie instrumentalist Joey Jordison in conjunction with guitarist Tripp Eisen of Static-X fame. However, the first incarnation of the project was short-lived and the lineup split after the release of one studio album. But just in time for the new decade, Wednesday and Jordison decided to revive the horror-themed ensemble and release another studio effort. This album is made particularly interesting by the band members themselves seeing it as their "true" debut; the first album was actually a re-recorded collection of songs originally released by Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13!
Like the debut before it, this album's sound is largely defined by its hybridizing of the punk and glam metal genres to bring about a style that many listeners have referred as Motley Crue meeting the Misfits. Thus, the song structures are often rooted around the catchy choruses and the instrumentation lacks a great deal of technicality. To put it simply, we're here to have fun rather than be impressed. Having said that, there is a more violent touch here in comparison to the debut, perhaps due to Jordison's influence. The songs take on even more punk and metal influence in places such as "Chapel Of Blood" and "Bored 'Til Death." "My Dark Place Alone" is another good example though the structural patterns and rhythms bring to mind old Drowning Pool for some reason...
Despite the simplistic songwriting at hand, the band members do put on an enjoyable performance and inject the songs with a lot of energy. Wednesday continues to entertain with his raspy Alice Cooper impression while Jordison continues to prove his skills as both a drummer and guitarist. The album is also made interesting by featuring guitarist Mick Mars of Motley Crue fame co-writing and playing on "Blood-Stained Valentine" and "Drug Me To Hell." Sadly, the latter title is not the first drug-horror pun song I've heard...
As previously mentioned, the songwriting is directly focused on delivering the infectious guitar hooks and choruses. Almost all the songs on here are instantly memorable right at the first listen and the album itself may be one of the most accessible in hard rock/metal in 2010. Of course, this does mean that there are a few moments where things do feel a little shallow...
Fortunately, there are plenty of great songs on here with nothing going into mediocre territory in spite of there being so many tracks to offer. Following the creepy spoken intro, the first five songs are among the best with the upbeat "Nowhere" and "Summertime Suicide" particularly standing out. Of course, there are other songs worth noting such as "Blood-Stained Valentine" and "Rock 'N Roll Is All I Got." The lyrics are also worth noting in that they mostly avoid the B-Movie aesthetics that defined the band's debut and overall image. Instead the album deals with more conventional themes such as violence, rebellion, death, and a ton of swear words in between. It's a little more pessimistic than the stuff from the past, but still enjoyable.
As expected, this album is definitely not here to be a masterpiece. It may be enjoyable but it's not exactly going to be one of the great artistic achievements of the year. Quite frankly, the band probably doesn't expect to receive accolades of that nature anyway. But this album is definitely one of the most fun releases to come out in 2010 and has a great replay value in spite of its simplistic construction. Highly recommended to fans of Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Motley Crue, the Misfits, the Sex Pistols, and every other horror/punk band under the sun. This is just too entertaining to pass up!
"Chapel Of Blood"
"Bored 'Til Death"
"Drug Me To Hell"
Originally published at http://suite101.com