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Lordi - Killection Award winner

by Kira Schletcher at 17 February 2020, 6:16 AM

Most bands think about only the present, or possibly, a little about the future – what they sound like now and what they might sound like down the line. For a band to ponder what they MIGHT have sounded like had they formed 15 or 20 years BEFORE they actually formed, well, that’s likely not been done. But Lordi has attempted just that with their 10th album, “Killection.” Finland’s answer to KISS and/or GWAR have been at it since 1992; “Killection” is the follow-up to 2018’s “Sexorcism.”

They describe this album as a “fictional compilation” of music you might hear in the early 1970s to mid-1990s. But it’s really an unfiltered, freewheeling, wickedly clever cornucopia of everything that ever might have influenced them over the years (and I mean everything), free of the barriers of genre or sentiment. Don’t take it as a novelty record, either – while it’s insanely hilarious at times, the band has real chops and a whole lot of smarts for putting together something that’s this completely unique.

It begins with “Radio SCG 10,” those radio station top-of-the-hour self-identification things from back in the day, featuring bits of AC/DC, OZZY, and themselves. These bits pop up at several points in the record and tell a story in and of themselves (which is as funny as the songs) and are so neutral, they could be from any rock radio station almost anywhere in the world. Most of us grew up hearing these sorts of things and they’re wonderfully nostalgic. The music kicks off with “Horror For Hire,” a real blazer sing-along along the lines of ALICE COOPER with a terrific opening couplet: “The town folks greet you with a smile/So sickly sweet you bring up bile.” This one definitely has an ‘80s feel, and Mr. Lordi has a great growly shout (and a brutally terrific way with words) that makes this track the first of many earworms on the album.

“Shake the Baby Silent” is reminiscent of WHITE ZOMBIE, with that kind of nonsense imagery that’s sublimely witty (“I’m the blackboard and fingernails/Canoe on the river to Hades” or “Killing a seal with my bloody club/Gremlin in the micro,” a direct ‘80s reference if ever there was one). “Like a Bee to the Honey” boasts a stellar cameo by MICHAEL MONROE of HANOI ROCKS – he speak-sings and straight sings and even blows a sax solo and it’s brilliant – call it a TAYLOR DAYNE kind of early-‘90s dance-y love song, with funky drumming, cowbell, and bass (yes, I said TAYLOR DAYNE). When MICHAEL and Mr. Lordi duet, it’s tongue-in cheek and campy as all get-out.

“Apollyon” pairs a curiously bright, happy sound with a sinister, apocalyptic storyline. Set to a dance groove with lots of Ms. Hella’s keyboards and Mr. Lordi’s croons, the contrast is insane – it’s 100 percent ‘80s and shouldn’t work, but it does. The seriousness of the band’s musicianship is never in doubt here – they’re not goofing, but play everything effortlessly well. “Blow My Fuse” is all KISS, with double entendre up the yin-yang, very ACE-like guitar solos from Mr. Amen, and Mr. Lordi going all PAUL STANLEY with his salacious drooling. It only gets better with “I Dug a Hole in the Yard For You,” a story of the seasons and love gone terribly wrong, and it’s a riot. The chorus itself is along the lines of “I Used to Love Her (But I Had To Kill Her)” – “I dug a hole in the yard for you/Just to know where you are.” If this doesn’t crack you up, we can’t be friends – in some alternate universe, it would be a huge hit.

“Zombimbo” is flat-out disco – the chugging groove, the synths, Mr. Lordi’s voice, even the guitar solo. Do yourself a favor and find the lyrics, because they are hysterical – the tragic tale of a girl who “boogied so hard it stopped her heart”, but she still can’t stop (“Her necromanced bones are missing a soul/But she’s got to dance”). It’s “The Red Shoes” crossed with “Night of the Living Dead” set to a DONNA SUMMER beat.

“Up To No Good” is 2020’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” with a breakdown that will drive all hands into the air in a live setting. We’ve heard all of the musical stuff in “Cutterfly” tons of times before in the ‘80s – the solos, the keyboards – but no one ever set it to sick-as-hell lyrics about a real Hannibal Lecter-type whose “mark of my fame is my cutting display.” The total schizophrenic disconnect between the subject matter and the music here, as in many other points in the album, is perfectly done. “Evil” is suitably heavy, with some nice black metal keyboards, and “Scream Demon” again channels ALICE, with a tremendously catchy chorus and a stellar a-capella section at the end.

While its theme and concept is really sophisticated (Lordi has even created mock covers of “the albums” from which the songs were “drawn”), “Killection” is not for serious contemplation or analysis – it’s just a damn good time, riding a line somewhere between parody and homage with great skill. If you take it for how it seems to be intended, it’s a blast.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Radio SCG 10
2. Horror For Hire
3. Shake the Baby Silent
4. Like a Bee To the Honey
5. Apollyon
6. SCG 10 the Last Hour
7. Blow My Fuse
8. I Dug a Hole in the Yard For You
9. Zombimbo
10. Up To No Good
11. SCG 10 Demonic Semitones
12. Cutterfly
13. Evil
14. Scream Demon
15. SCG 10 I am Here
Mr. Lordi - Vocals
Mr. Amen - Guitar
Mr. Hiisi - Bass
Mr. Mana - Drums
Ms. Hella - Keyboards
Record Label: AFM Records


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