Released: 2005, Roadrunner Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Wednesday 13 should be instantly recognizable to fans of The Murderdolls as that band took all the fun of groups like The Misfits, White Zombie and Alice Cooper and rolled them into a pop-glam-punk package peppered with three-chord rock ditties and just a twist of Marilyn Manson. Adhering to the old adage that “one should not fix what is not broken,” Wednesday 13 has done much the same thing on his solo debut, TRANSYLVANIA 90210: SONGS OF DEATH, DYING AND THE DEAD, as he did on The Murderdolls’ 2002 debut, BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE MURDERDOLLS. Sound clips from various movies are scattered throughout the songs and it is clear that Wednesday is hardly taking himself too seriously. Taken at face value, TRANSYLVANIA 90210 is a fun stroll through campy horror and the schlock-y music that goes along with it and nothing more.
“Look What The Bats Dragged In” is equal parts sleaze metal and CONSTRICTOR-era Alice Cooper, while the campy pop melodies of “I Walked With A Zombie” are a hoot. The hand claps and “whoa-ohhh” vocals really put a smile on my face and the song is great fun. “Bad Things” is an attitude-filled rant that leans a bit close to comfort with what Dope was doing in the late 90s and the last thing the world needs is a reminder of a band like Dope! “God Is A Lie” is a straight-up rock song but the subject matter is a bit overdone by now and that tends to hold one’s focus. The title track and “The Ghost of Vincent Price” pay further homage to KILLERS-era/”The Ballad of Dwight Frye” Cooper not only with Wednesday’s vocal similarities but with the slow and creepy pace of the former and the subject matter of the latter. Great lyrics all around, too, but the feeling of sameness creeps in around the midway point. Wednesday, we know you’re a horror fan! What else have you got??
Length really bogs down TRANSYLVANIA 90210 at 51 minutes. An album like this should be no longer than 35 minutes and some selective editing could have really punched up the pacing here. Also, at nearly an hour, the gimmick starts to wear a little thin and, as above, it leaves the listener wanting a little more to chew on. Even Cooper himself deviated from horror over the course of an album to keep the listener awake.
TRANSYLVANIA 90210: SONGS OF DEATH, DYING AND THE DEAD is all in good fun and Wednesday 13 clearly shows his less-serious side. With The Murderdolls and now this, he has carved out his place in his chosen genre however that gimmick will only last so long and I don’t see it going much beyond 2 or 3 albums. Considering that for all intensive purposes, this may as well be The Murderdolls’ second release since the songs are essentially the same (less the battering ram drumming of Slipknot’s Joey Jordison), the clock is ticking…
KILLER KUTS: “Look What The Bats Dragged In,” “I Walked With A Zombie,” “Transylvania 90210,” “The Ghost of Vincent Price”