Halloween Season is upon us and with it we get a special surprise new release from the ever inimitable and lovable Wednesday 13. From Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 up through his own solo career, Wednesday has been a one-man wrecking crew of love for all things Horror. He’s what Rob Zombie would be if he would concentrate on music instead of movies, with more trash and dash and gash. Over the years he’s had a steady output of albums, all of good quality, some more remarkable than others. The last couple of records he seems to be concentrating more on metal, with bits of thrash and industrial really coming to the forefront. His patented punk/glam/trash/melody sound is still there, but it’s definitely grown heavier and yes, a bit meaner.
The album opens with an eerie, 70’s-inspired synth sound that progresses into a mid-paced thumper hosted by Alice Cooper himself, the Godfather of Shock Rock. This almost feels like the track Black Widow on the old Alice record Welcome to My Nightmare, which featured Vincent Price doing a little narration thing as well. Great opener to a really good record.
What follows is a procession of songs that, if you’re already familiar with Wednesday 13, follows along with what he’s done before. He doesn’t break any rules here or change things up too much, other than the aforementioned heavier and slightly more serious sound. Yeah, the fun and whimsy is still there, as is that playful keyboard, but there’s a darker sheen that he’s been flirting with for a while now. A song like ZODIAC, for instance, is something that I don’t think he would have tried a few years ago. Yeah, it has that whole John Carpenter Halloween vibe at the beginning, but then it settles into that riff/groove, accompanied by news clips concerning the real Zodiac killer, and you know this isn’t a fun jaunt. This is deadly serious.
Have no fear, old fans. The fun is still there. Monster is a melodic, radio-friendly ripper featuring Cristina Scabbia (of Lacuna Coil) on vocals. Be Warned is a cool little nod towards The Fog in its tone and a nice break from the carnage that comes before and after, leading into The Hearse, a raging little stomper. Bury the Hatchet is vintage 13, crazy and hilarious and raucous. Oh, and bonus closing cover of W.A.S.P.’s Animal (featuring Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom) was a nice touch.
All in all, Wednesday 13 has released another entertaining record, full of fun songs and tales of woe and horror. I really like the darker sounds he’s leaning towards and I think they lend an extra heft to his output. It’s the right direction to head in if he wants to keep things fresh. That being said, nothing new happens here and fans won’t be shocked by any abrupt changes in style. Wednesday 13 has perfected his bubbling cauldron of horrific stew and now he seems content to fiddle with the seasonings to further flesh out its delicious taste. Fun record, perfect for the coming holiday season.
Three Buckets of Blood out of Four
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Kelly is the author of dozens of stories and dozens of reviews, he likes to write, he likes to read, he likes going to the movies, and he loves to laugh. He hails from the wilds of Kentucky and if you'd like to see more of his work, check out his website: www.kellymhudson.com