The Zombino Baby Shakers of Planet Apollyon
Lordi Album Review
by Boris Lee
Finnish fright fiends, LORDI, throw themselves into twenty-twenty with their latest studio album release from AFM Records/Soul Food Music, Killection. Mr. Lordi, (the possible love child of Gene Simmons and Oderus Urungus) leads the monster musicianship of, Amen (guitars), Mana (drums), Hiisi (bass), and Hella (keyboards) into a fictional reality concept compilation that is a near perfect alchemy of clever creativity.
The concept to the album is, what if LORDI had been creating music from the seventies through the mid-nineties, and created a compilation album to celebrate their history? Toss in a “New Song” to the greatest hits theory and you have a true compilation album in design.
The record opens with arguably the most creative set up for a concept album I have ever heard. Radio SCG10, is such a well-executed radio station advertisement I felt like I was tossed back to my childhood listening to New York City based station 104.3 WAPP. The impersonations of Bon Scott, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford and King Diamond are an incredible balance of homage and humor. These SCG10 vignettes appear throughout the album as a narrative for the underlying horror story taking place on the album and are groovy gore gems.
“Horror for Hire,” officially kicks off the music with a monstrous modern mash of precise, polished pulverization. It’s the new song a compilation needs for fans to run out and justify the purchase of previously released material.
“Shake the Baby Silent”… This song is the epitome of absurd. The title says it all, and if you don’t have a sense of humor, this song may not be for you. Me… I have a warped sense of humor and Shake the Baby Silent rips into my humorous bone, heaving me into horrific happiness. The song is the best homage to a Rob Zombie style song that I have ever heard, bar none, and that includes Zombie Tribute Bands I have watched perform. The lyrics scream of Zombie in design with a comedic kiss. Musically, LORDI sounds more like Rob Zombie at the height of his solo career with “Shake the Baby Silent” than Rob Zombie does himself today.
“Like a Bee to the Honey,” hits the album sweet spot. Co-written by Rock-N-Roll Hall of Famer, KISS frontman Paul Stanley, and featuring Michael Monroe (Hanoi Rocks), the musical vibe coming off the song is dead-on accurate to a late nineteen-eighties stalker type song. You know, the songs where there’s a guy who can’t deal with his girl leaving him, and restraining orders fly like paper planes kissed by the breeze of a broken heart. Musically, LORDI do an amazing job creating a score that would fit into the play rotation of an eighties radio station, or roll during the ending credits of a romantic horror film. What makes this song jive and groove most is the keyboards and brass instruments.
“Blow My Fuse,”is next on my list of highlights to the hits LORDI hammers out on Killection. As soon as I heard the opening drum roll and bass note bend to the song, I envisioned KISS on stage playing God of Thunder in nineteen-seventy-seven. “You rub me in a way that makes me lose my mind,” is the opening lyric to the song. Not only is that hilarious when taken into the total context of the songs creativity, but it sounds like a Gene Simmons lyric as if he wrote it himself with the intentions of it being a serious mid-seventies KISS hit. “Take it out, put it in, your socket fits like a glove…” is another lyric from the song that I doubled over laughing from and could see Gene Simmons using in a KISS song. If the humor factor to the song was less boisterous and the LORDI punch more “Beastial,” this would be the most creative song to the concept of Killection.
“Zombimbo,”is LORDI’S devious disco offering to the concept compilation. Once again, there is a KISS vibe to the song (think Dynasty), this time instrumentally more than lyrically, with a splash of Donna Summer thrown in the mix. The song is a contagion to dancing, and I don’t dance.
“Up to no Good,” raises horns and fists to the air next with a true to form eighties-style metal anthem. If Twisted Sister, Judas Priest, Dokken, and essentially the rest of the commercially successful metal acts of the eighties got into a fistfight, the blood splatter mixing would form the DNA for LORDI’S “Up to no Good.”
“Evil,” is a legitimate march into the mid-nineties metal music. LORDI did a great job capturing the style of metal from that era and unlike with other songs on the album, Evil has LORDI’S own stamp of originality and no real homage to any specific band of that era in metal music.
Conceptually Killection is genius. There are several creative things transpiring on the album. From LORDI creating music that fits into the previous decades Mr. Lordi wants you to feel the band existed in, to the perfect parodies in these songs executions, to the SCG10 radio DJ Rockin’ Ruiz not only hitting the old-school DJ feeling out of the park, but to also being the main character in horror narrative, the creativity is by far the most structured I have come across. This was not an easy task to achieve, and LORDI nailed it.
For the most part, the songs LORDI present on Killection are fun spirited and comedic in the lyrical tone. There are a few songs that the band takes a more serious approach to lyrically, but overall, the album is a fun listening experience. If Weird Al and Gene Simmons wrote an album together, I think it would mimic what LORDI released with Killection.
As fun and easygoing as LORDI was lyrically on Killection, the musicianship of the album is deadly serious. LORDI proved their creative range by writing songs with a legitimate conceptual connection to each different style of music represented on the album. From disco to rock, from old-school to modern metal, LORDI is on point with every single style.
Before I write an album review, generally I will listen to the music several times before deciding on how I feel about what I will review. When I first started listening to Killection, I knew I would write a positive review, at the very least based on the creative concept of the SCG10 vignettes. After listening to the entire album the first time around, I felt LORDI brought a full steam ahead energy into what they offered. They set the pulse of the album for ‘All Killer, No Filler.’ I thought I was on my way to writing my first ever FIVE raised horns review.
However, as great as Killection is, I have to be true to what I feel as an entertainment journalist. Killection loses steam in the last three songs of the album. The songs are good, but they do not carry the energy their predecessors do. If LORDI had ended the album musically with “Up to no Good”, and creatively how they do with the final SCG10 installment, Killection would have been a five raised horns album. Because of the loss of steam at the end of the album, I have to give Killection 4.5 out of 5 raised horns. LORDI is a great band, and thanks to Killection, I’m going back to check out the rest of the LORDI library. It has been nearly thirty-years since a band came along that prompted me to investigate their back catalog immediately.
Killection gave me three songs that are candidates for my best songs of twenty-twenty, which will be published in almost a years’ time. A great way to kick off the new year musically.
To learn more on LORDI or purchase their music, you can find them on the following links: