20 years ago, a quirky little band named Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13 was birthed, fronted by horror and shock rock aficionado Wednesday 13. As purveyors of sandpaper-throated horror rock ‘n roll, they developed a cult like following and several sleazy releases later, caught the eye of one Joey Jordinson of Slipknot. In a shared vision between between Jordinson and 13 the group morphed into platinum selling ghoul group The Murderdolls . Fast forward some 15 plus years and our man Wednesday 13 is cranking out spooky tunes at an extremely prolific rate, bringing us to his latest (trick or) treat, Condolences.
Kicking off the record is undoubtedly it’s strongest cut – What The Night Brings. Like the majority of the record, it rips and roars with machine gun guitars, spooky keys and gutter-trash vocals, serving up a devilish slice of ghoulish rock. Speaking prior to the albums release, 13 announced “The punk rock vibe has left the building and it’s become a full-on metal vibe” which is certainly apparent when listening to the bruising metalcore of You Breathe, I Kill and the thuggish grooves of Prey For Me.
Previous releases saw high octane punk rock combined with Wednesday’s beloved shock rock – giving songs a buzz that matched his b-movie themed snarls. Here, the emphasis on slickly produced stock metal riffs and pitch black lyrical content can at times feel tiresome, leaving the record a little empty. For fans still looking for the full speed ahead vibe of old though, Lonesome Road To Hell comes complete with a monstrous chorus, while Cruel To You injects a little Motley Crue glam into the proceedings.
Wednesday 13 remains a troubadour for a bygone age of rock – A fiend who may not have the mainstream spotlight he once held, but whose frequent and consistent output hopes to place him alongside such greats as Alice Cooper and The Misfits someday soon. On Condolences, he shifts gears slightly, beefing up the sound and darkening the tone a little – but for fans who have followed Mr 13 this far, there is nothing on his seventh solo release that will scare them off. That is….unless you want him to…
Condolences is out now on Nuclear Blast Records