The MURDERDOLLS came out onto the scene promoted as somewhat of a ‘super group’ of sorts that included, most famously, the drummer of SLIPKNOT, Joey Jordison, playing the guitar. Despite a fairly successful debut album released seven years ago, the band is back together (more or less as a two piece – more of that in a bit) to release their long awaited sophomore record, “Women And Children Last."
For those of us that have been waiting anxiously for this release (and tiding ourselves over with the awesomely fun solo records from singer/songwriter WEDNESDAY 13), after listening to the album a handful of times in its entirety, it's hard not to be somewhat disappointed. This isn’t quite the band that disappeared from the world over half a decade ago.
What their debut album had going for it was this completely tongue-in-cheek Glam and Punk inspired Metal opus full of Horror film references and love ballads about death and corpses. What “Women And Children Last” happens to be full of are semi-serious tracks that are stripped of the band’s many outrageous and over-the-top elements. Gone are many of the glitzy solos and leads layering the riffs and those are replaced with more standard Metal style work. Gone are many of the borderline shocking and laugh-inducing vocals for more of a serious tone about anger and frustration.
To be frank and honest, this is a MURDERDOLLS that is missing most of the fun of what made their debut a riot.
Some of this might be attributed to the band trimming out its ‘unnecessary’ members to be replaced by hired guns (of which there is talent) and leaving only two real members: Joey Jordison and Wednesday 13, whom essentially write and play everything. Although these guys are the two most essential members of the group, this release lacks some of the explosive chemistry (particularly in the guitar portion of the album) it could have had. This is the biggest issue with this album.
If you can set that aside and take “Women And Children Last” as what it is, the album can be pretty decent. MURDERDOLLS still retain most of their charm and they can still slag out a tune when they want to. One can almost hear a little bit of what the band once was on some of its faster and Punkier tracks like “Summertime Suicide” or the last two tracks of the album.
If you want even more of that, I suggest picking up the special edition as the three bonus tracks happen to be some of the best on the album.
Although the new MURDERDOLLS might sound more like a solo effort from the front man than its own entity, it has some solid moments. It’s definitely not quite what fans wanted to hear from the band, but it’s not awful either. If you were a fan, then this might suit you fine but it's not the return we all wanted to hear.
Songs to check out: “Whatever You Got, I’m Against It," “My Dark Place Alone," “Hello, Goodbye, Die."
(Online November 7, 2010)