Each and every spin of MURDERDOLLS' "Women and Children Last" (don't get your panties in a twist, Eddie) had me at one point or another thinking how much Zeuss' taut 'n chunky production sounds like a 2010 version of Tom Werman's production of MÖTLEY CRÜE's "Girls, Girls, Girls". Well, imagine my pleasant surprise at reading in the liner notes that none other than guitarist Mick Mars not only appears on the NASHVILLE-PUSSY-meets-ROB-ZOMBIE "Drug me to Hell" and the ALICE COOPER-inflected "Blood Stained Valentine", but also co-wrote both with Doll Duo vocalist Wednesday 13 and multi-instrumentalist and SLIPKNOT vet Joey Jordison. By the way, "Women and Children Last" is one the most righteously riffed, catchy, and sleaze bagged hard rock albums of 2010. That surprise is actually a pleasanter one.There are punk colorings and light glammy tones, but more than anything else "Women and Children Last" is a hard rocker that takes a hot riff, a catchy chorus, and bucket of dirty needles to make its point, one that is made over and over again across the 14 proper tracks and "The World According to Revenge" intro. Taking the best elements of the bad-attitude end of '80s hair metal (ala MÖTLEY CRÜE), ALICE COOPER's fundamentally-based hard rock moments, and NASHVILLE PUSSY's big guitar directness (Blaine Cartwright's vocals too), among others, MURDERDOLLS' sophomore affair melts off the fat with sulfuric acid, leaving only the essentials. There is a lot more at work here than a hit single and a pile studio afterbirth too. This baby is loaded for bear with murderous rockers like "Chapel of Blood", "Homicide Drive" and "Death Valley Superstars". Though each song is built for memory retention, several cuts feature choruses that approach pop infectiousness, such as "Summertime Suicide" and "Nowhere". You could add "Dark Place Alone" to the latter group for its catchiness, but not the sheen. For that matter there isn't a song here that you'll want to skip, which really ups the appeal. Does the phrase "All killer; no filler" mean anything to you? "Women and Children Last" is most refreshing for the bullshit-free, back to basics approach that so many acts screw up royally. What will you dig most about it? It's a rowdy rock 'n roll motherfucker! That's what!
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