Review : MURDERDOLLS – "Women and Children Last"

MurderdollsWomen and Children Last
Release Date: 2010Aug31
Label: Roadrunner
Rating: 2.5/5

It has been eight years since we have heard from the Murderdolls.  Despite recording Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls with vocalist Wednesday 13, multi-instrumentalist Joey Jordison has said Women and Children Last is “the first time me and [Wednesday] sat down and wrote together”; where before they adapted works from previous projects like Frankenstein Drag Queen. This is also Jordison’s first creative output since the passing of Slipknot‘s Paul Gray, to whom this album is dedicated.

Skip the extraneous intro and head to “Chapel of Blood”, which has a solid main riff and chorus, but is too straightforward.  Then “Bored to Death” resurrects tired, violent clichés like “Gonna put a motherfuckin’ bullet in you” which sound like lame bravado.  When they get to the classic sleazy excess of “Drug Me to Hell”––the first of two tracks with contributions from Motley Crue‘s Mick Mars––the personal demons by way of horror movie finally hooked me.

“Nowhere” is pop-punky, but I dug the structure, with interesting guitar tone, well-written chorus, understated solo from leads man Roman Surman, and in-place keyboards.  “Summertime Suicide” is straight Alice Cooper worship, but here is where the formula starts to unravel.  The accessible “Death Valley Superstars” feels like regression and I just do not believe they’re “giving bloody noses and middle fingers to the status quo”.  Thankfully, the first single “My Dark Place Alone” returns to the introspective and brings the best riff of the album with it; but they could have made it near-flawless if they replaced the word “fuck” with some real adjectives.

“Blood Stained Valentine” is lots of fun and Mick’s solos make for a fine return.  However, the following “Pieces of You” and “Homicide Drive” ride like retreads, and even sound samples, decent solos, and pictures of indecent women cannot save this stretch.  The semi-autobiographical “Rock n Roll is All I Got” works much better, and features some sweet heavy bass licks.  “Nothing’s Gonna Be Alright” is another yawner, but “Whatever Yot Got, I’m Against It” at least makes a sly Marx Brothers reference, although has 5% of its overall cleverness.  “Hello, Goodbye, Die” brings the bass back––along with some ineffective, too-little-too-late old school cheerleader calls (you say “bricka-bracka-firecracker”, I say “siss-boom-bah…humbug”).

As Women and Children Last came to a halt, I started to digest its faults.  For all its good(?) intentions, the Murderdolls recorded a comeback album at least five songs too long, with many tracks (both keepers and duds) that simply overstay their welcome.  I appreciate Zeuss’ full production, and the control that Joey and Wednesday have over the final product, but perhaps wanted to give too much.  With better focus and judicious editing, their next effort may be deadly.

FCC: 3, 4, 7, 8, 11, 12, 15 (WRUV was also supplied with a “clean” disc)
Try: 4, 5, 8, 9, 12

01. The World According To Revenge
02. Chapel Of Blood
03. Bored ‘Til Death
04. Drug Me To Hell
05. Nowhere
06. Summertime Suicide
07. Death Valley Superstars
08. My Dark Place Alone
09. Blood-Stained Valentine
10. Pieces Of You
11. Homicide Drive
12. Rock ‘N’ Roll Is All I Got
13. Nothing’s Gonna Be All Right
14. Whatever You Got, I’m Against It
15. Hello, Goodbye, Die

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