Released: 2005, Century Media
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Late 2004/early 2005 has seen Century Media going through a run of EP releases from its band roster. Over the course of four months, the label has released quick spinners from Dark Tranquillity, Arch Enemy, Krisiun and, on February 22nd, a small teaser from Finland’s Children of Bodom entitled TRASHED, LOST & STRUNGOUT hits stores. The EP consists of two new originals, two cover songs, the music video for the title track and a nineteen minute video of drunken tomfoolery that ties the whole package together. As is usually the case with EPs, this one is strictly for the Children of Bodom completist, although this is the first recording of former Stone guitarist, Roope Latvala, with the band. Children of Bodom have gained an incredible amount of new fans in North America with their relentless touring in support of 2003’s HATE CREW DEATHROLL and this EP will keep the momentum going until a new full-length is released later in 2005.
The title track is a rollicking thrasher that is in the same vein as their “Needled 24/7.” Its catchy chorus, solid guitar, the ever-ominous presence of Janne Warman’s tinkling keyboards and Alexi Laiho’s piercing growl/shriek should make it a staple in their future live set. “Knuckleduster” has a real 80s feel to it thanks to Warman’s ubiquitous keyboard but Jaska Raatikainen’s punishing drums help pull it back from the brink of cheesiness.
Children of Bodom are known for treating their fans to interesting versions of cover songs. In the past, they have covered Billy Idol, Sepultura, Slayer, W.A.S.P., The Ramones, The Scorpions and Ozzy Osbourne. For this outing, the band tackles Alice Cooper (“Bed of Nails”) and one-hit wonder Andrew W.K. (“She Is Beautiful”). “She Is Beautiful” remains true to the original but “Bed of Nails” features a speedy outro and a keyboard intro not present in the 1989 Cooper classic. Both tracks continue the band's hot streak of delivering interesting versions of their own favorites to fans who may not otherwise be familiar with the originals.
The video for “Trashed, Lost & Strungout” is of the basic performance type. In other words, nothing special or noteworthy. As for the nineteen-minute “Trashed & Lost In Helsinki” footage, it plays as sort of a heavy metal HARD DAY’S NIGHT, with the band’s tongue planted firmly in cheek. The gist of the story is that the band’s rehearsal studio got broken into and their equipment stolen. After agreeing to the label’s demand of a new song in exchange for a cash advance, the band blows it all on booze and partying (featuring a cameo by Nightwish’s Tuomas Holopainen) but still manages to crank out the title track in a drunken stupor. During the proceedings, Latvala gets completely wasted, the band plays in the snow, shows the viewer around Helsinki and Laiho accidentally spray paints his eyes. This is amusing to watch once but don’t let it be the selling point. It should be noted that all dialogue is in Finnish with English subtitles, as well.
In a clever marketing move, Century Media wisely released this EP to keep the buzz going in North America for the band. I saw Children of Bodom live three times in support of HATE CREW DEATHROLL and each time, they were stiff competition for the headliner and the crowd gave them incredible receptions. This year will be a real test for Children of Bodom to see if they can deliver on their upcoming full-length and get to that coveted next level outside of Europe. In the meantime, pick up TRASHED, LOST & STRUNGOUT to tide you over.