Review Summary: The start of something new.
Brian’s band has seen a lot of changes over the years, but it's from ‘The Golden Age of Grotesque’ era onward where the band took drastic changes. The departure of Twiggy after ‘Holy Wood’ brought in Tim Skold who took on the role of bass player and producer, as well as contributing with John 5 to make the music for ‘TGAOG’. The timeframe between ‘TGAOG’ and ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’ saw the departures of John 5, Ginger Fish and Gacy, leaving only Manson and Skold to write ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’ for its 2007 release.
The sixth studio album is considerably different to previous releases, the most obvious change comes from the musical style which does a complete 180 on what you know the band for; all the industrial elements are a thing of the past and while the album does contain dark subject matters – the title being inspired by the infamous Armin Meiwes story is an indication he hasn’t lost all his roots – the record is a lot more upbeat than anything you’ve come to hear from the band before.
Manson takes his song writing to even more accessible places, with almost pop style melodies placed in songs like ‘Heart-Shaped Glasses’ and ‘Putting Holes in Happiness’. You’ll be surprised by tracks like ‘Just a Car Crash Away’ and the album closer ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’ which sees Manson pour his pain into the songs, the resulting effect really does leave you feeling what he is saying. It’s this approach, with these unconventional surprises, that make the album work really well. ‘The Golden Age...’ saw Manson vocally at his best, but lyrically at his worst. This time round he’s much more grounded in his approach and manages to create some solid lyrics that aim more around themes, rather than his sex life, and vocally he doesn’t attempt to find catchy, repetitious hooks, aiming more for solid melodies.
More to my surprise, musically, Eat Me, Drink Me holds up just as strong as any other of Manson’s records. The change in style is even more simplistic but all the instruments really do shine for it. The drums on this record have their own character, notably found on ‘I Am Your Vampire’ which really brings that thick atmosphere to the song. And that’s something you can really give Tim credit for, his guitar effects, tones, and even bluesy solos, not only bring a consistent tone that is found throughout the whole album, but when it comes to the more pain-fuelled songs Tim really accommodates the vocals with what he plays, making the songs that much more effective.
To date this is Manson’s shortest release. At just 11 tracks you’d think it would be a perfect length for this type of record but, unfortunately it starts to overstay its welcome. The beginning of the album starts off really strong and has plenty of variety, but as soon as it gets past the track Heart-Shaped Glasses every song, with the exception of the title-track, which is a great closer, is forgettable. All four tracks suffer both musically and vocally for being very mundane and uninteresting, they left me thinking they were b-side tracks than songs you’d put on a final album.
Overall, with the band being stripped down to just two members, the album ended up being surprisingly solid and really showed a fresh side to a band that had, then, been going for a decade and a half. The main problems fall under not being able to keep the momentum going through its 11 track stay. But with a consistently dark tone, solid work held up by Tim, and Manson doing a great vocal performance throughout, ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’ is a worthy entry.
Worth Checking Out.