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Ace of Spades served up a smorgasbord of rock ‘n’ roll variety Thursday night. The main act of the night was the Murderdolls, plus five opening bands whose sounds ranged from old school hair metal to rockabilly.
First on the agenda was Spider City, a local group. They played songs such as “Unbreakable” and “Love Sick,” both of which were characterized by a heavy sound and screaming, emotional vocals.
Next on the roster was Avenue Saints, a band with few members and a rockabilly sound. Lead singer Dusty Graves put on quite a lively show, playing an upright bass topped with a Nosferatu head and still managing to look spiffy in his hat and tie.
Another local band, Blownload, took the stage next. With a slightly raunchier sound, Blownload is a band that was right at home opening for a vulgar group like the Murderdolls. Lead vocalist Erie Loch had plenty of energy to get the crowd singing along to catchy tunes like “Holy Shit” and “Keep Sex Evil.”
Misamore was a group easily forgotten. Unfortunately, in such an eclectic mix of bands, Msamore’s sound did not stand out as much as it should have. Perhaps because the group’s tunes were somewhat slower and melodic, they just didn’t possess the energy to captivate a crowd full of hyped-up punk rockers.
The final band to play before the Murderdolls was Taking Dawn, whose sound was a mixture of hair metal and good ol’ guitar-driven rock ‘n’ roll. With enough headbanging to knock their brains loose, the long-haired members of Taking Dawn managed to get a tough crowd worked up. At one point the guitarist even jumped into the crowd and ran into the bar, where he jumped up onto the chandelier-lit counter and interacted with fans.
After five bands’ worth of waiting, the crowd was amped to hear the main attraction, the shock rockers they had all come to see: The Murderdolls.
The best way to succinctly sum up the Murderdolls’ sound is horror-inspired punk rock that would make your grandmother faint.
However, lead singer Wednesday 13 describes his music in less simple terms.
“You know I really have a hard time explaining what we sound like,” he said. “We like old music, everything from the Sex Pistols to Alice Cooper and Twisted Sister. We just throw all our influences in and somehow it comes out the way it does. Some people hear Motley Crue, some people hear the Misfits because of the horror references, and we’re just all over the place. We’re just a fun, loud, entertaining band, with lots of swearing.”
It was no surprise that the Murderdolls opened with “The World According to Revenge,” which led into “Chapel of Blood,” considering those songs are the first two off the new album, “Women and Children Last.”
But of course with another album packed full of catchy songs that are the antithesis of pop, there was no short supply of old material. Fans were treated to songs like “People Hate Me” and “Twist My Sister,” both off the Murderdolls’ first album, “Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls.”
Fans were also lucky enough to hear “Drug Me to Hell,” a song on the new album that features Mick Mars of Motley Crue.
“It was great (working with Mick Mars on the new record). It wasn’t a planned thing,” Wednesday 13 said. “We had just finished recording ‘Drug Me to Hell.’ We had everything done on it, but no guitar solo. So we’re sitting there talking and I’m like, ‘What kind of solo should we do for this? I’m really hearing a Mick Mars kinda vibe.’ And our tour manager goes, ‘Well, why don’t you call him up? He lives down the street.’ And I said, ‘Why don’t you call him?’ and he said, ‘Well, if I get him on your record, you owe me a pack of cigarettes.’ So he walked outside and then came back in and said, ‘Mars will be here on Saturday. You owe me a pack of cigarettes.’”
The encore song of the evening was “Dawn of the Dead,” a tune inspired by the famous zombie flick of the same name. Fans were elated to be able to chant along one last time to the lyrics, “We are the dead and we’re coming for you!”
Ultimately, as entertaining as a night full of profanity and moshing might be, the Murderdolls lyrics are definitely not meant to be taken seriously. The music is all about having fun and, even though Wednesday 13 sings about homicide, suicide and zombies, it’s all in the name of rock ‘n’ roll.
What’s next on the agenda for the Murderdolls now that they’ve conquered Ace of Spades?
“We’re trying to figure out what’s next,” Wednesday 13 said. “I never know what Joey Jordison (Murderdolls guitarist and Slipknot percussionist) has got coming up, and he never knows what I’ve got. I know that he’s got Slipknot coming up this summer. When he’s done doing his Slipknot stuff, we’ve talked about maybe doing some more shows in the fall. But we’re just kind of taking it piece by piece.”
View the full video interview with Wednesday 13 here.