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Stay away from my favourite bands, Alexi! - 6%

Acrobat, January 26th, 2009

Would you say that it’s a little unfair that I’m doing another Children of Bodom review because they happened to cover The Ramones and the title of this track vaguely resembles my favourite Sodom album (which, unsurprisingly isn’t Sodom)? Yeah? I’d say so, well, I just happen to find Children of Bodom massively amusing if one can consider their kitchen-sink approach to what I suppose could be – in terms as loose as the Alexi’s live playing – deemed metal music.

This is child friendly metal, no doubt about it. Everything is designed to have enough buzzes and bright colours to keep the most active infant amused for literally minutes. No attention span required, no hidden depths, nothing you won’t hone in on until numerous listens and best of all, the CD is circular so you won’t put your eyes out on any sharp, nasty corners! It’s enough to make me think that The Ramones cover should be re-named ‘Somebody Put Something in My Ribena’. Though this too would raise questions as to whether the potential market for this sort of thing would be old enough to consume acidic drinks – leading to the song being re-titled once more as ‘Somebody Put Something In My Mother’s Breasts’. When approaching this release I wondered whether or not they’d put in those awful guitar solos that so pleased me on ‘Hate Me!’ in a punk rock song (forgetting that original actually does have one). I swear some of those licks are lifted straight from KISS’s ‘Crazy, Crazy Nights’ – which is certainly not something that a sane person would do. Playing a punk rock song in a style more suited to hair metal is a pretty strong indication that you should really be considering a career in a non-artistic medium like the fast food industry. Maybe those suicide attempts were a real cry for help, as this bloke is fucking barmy! Vocally, this is even worse than the other Children of Bodom stuff I’ve heard, he’s obviously going for a drunken angst as he clearly relates to the original’s subject matter due to the fact that Alexi is often mistaken for a 14 year-old girl; wild on hormones and frequenting bars (something mother strictly forbade, fuck you, mother!), and as such leery old men spike his drinks and he ends up in places he where he shouldn’t be. As a result of this he misses guitar lessons in which he would be taught how the guitar is most commonly not used as a mathematical game in which you’re rewarded by the number of notes you play, which are then tallied off to see who scores the number nearest to 4657, s/he is then crowned and anointed rightful king/queen of maths guitar.

It’s often a common response and defence from Children of Bodom’s fans got into them at a young age and as such it’s somehow acceptable to like at least some of their output. If you think I’m going to insult people for such, well, I’m not, if anything I have a strange respect for them. The fact that they would be exposed to such obviously bad heavy metal, and then still preserver with the genre. That’s determination, that’s the true metal spirit “I haven’t even heard much in the genre aside from this really shit band, but damn, metal fucking rules!” Astounding, really!

Hey, the A-side is just as bad, if not worse. But this really does have instant kiddie appeal – it’s got swears and everything so you can feel angry with your parents! It’s got orchestra stabs used gratuitously (I struggle to think of a serious and appropriate use of that particular keyboard sound but this makes me long for its comparatively beautiful use in Blind Guardian’s ‘Theatre of Pain’) so it can remind you of video games… especially if you’re banned from playing them since your dad heard you listening to music with swear words, damn his shaky logic! But then again, if any of my unfortunate future offspring ever have the sheer tenacity to listen to fucking Children of Bodom they’re getting aborted. Lyrically, once again this is full of a sort of macho posturing that riddled ‘Hate Me!’ I think I can see another problem in Alexi’s persona, he’s a victim of Short Man Syndrome… which is why his lyrics are so shouting and angry, why not learn to be comfortable with yourself rather than starting fights and playing really bad guitar? Amusingly enough, the CoB fans I’ve encountered are probably the exact same types who would accuse Phil Anselmo of similar faux-hard-man antics.

But hold on! There’s a redeeming feature! That brief melodic lead at around the 1:00 mark isn’t overbearing or excessive, it’s actually quite good! See, simple ideas can have a place in your wacky hard-to-define-but-ultimately-not-worth-the-time music. But the glimmer of light is all but lost in the nail polish black of this songs negative features. Structurally this is all but too familiar and this is worrying coming from someone who has only heard maybe a handful of Children of Bodom songs. This is very much reminiscent of ‘Hate Me!’ in its structure – especially the goofy breakdowns. Turns out, Children of Bodom is a hapless victim of Iced Earth Syndrome (so many syndromes for just one band!) in that they’re unimaginative in their perpetually shite music. The mind boggles to think just what Alexi could achieve with, not-again-please-not-again, Jon Schaffer at his side.

In my very limited but utterly hilarious experience of CoB I’ve began to notice that the keyboards have an overriding Eastern feel about them, is Janne Wirman of Mongol descend? Did his ancestors settle in Finland after the Mongol invasion of Europe? His “Warman” nickname would imply some sort of proud warrior lineage – but maybe this is all talk. Did the Mongols even reach Finland? Does Mongolian music sound similar to other types of more familiar Eastern music? So many questions and so much bad music!

Christ, they do fit in a lot of musical ideas into a short space. But you know, as the old sayings would reveal quantity doesn’t always have positive connotations; they killed a lot of Hungarian Jews in a few months at Auschwitz, you know. “But there is so much evidence to state that the German state did not have the resources to undertake such a genocide…” Fucking hell, holocaust denial and a Children of Bodom fan? You’re a bad person!

Hateful little thing.. - 93%

Stormhelm, May 10th, 2003

This single is quite a short, but good representation of the Hate Crew Deathroll album. The title song is typically Bodom. It starts off with some frenetical drumming and Alexi screaming "War Eyes". The keyboards are playing along masterfully with the brilliant riffs. The song calms down at 1:44, but speeds up again at 2:30. The lyrics are burning with hatred as always, and the refrain is quite catchy. "You're better off dead than fucking with me!" says it all.

Next we have the Ramones cover, Somebody Put Something In My Drink. A very cathy song (my favorite Ramones song), which is quite suitable to listen to, during binge-drinking :) An excellent cover version. If you've heard the original, you might notice that CoB has changed the lyrics. The original goes as follows: "Daiqury and Tonic's my favorite drink", while CoB goes "Vodka and Tonic's...". Vodka & Tonic is infact Alexi's favorite drink :) A little CoB trivia..

The only thing that pulls the score down a bit, is the fact that this release could contained aome more material, i.e a video or a live song. Anyways, it's well worth buying because of the cover song.