1. Trashed, Lost & Strung out
3. Bed of Nails (Alice Cooper cover)
4. She is Beautiful (Andrew W.K. cover)
2005 Century Media Records
Century Media must love to put out these little teaser EP's. First the Arch Enemy EP, and now this Children of Bodom EP. However, I'm happier with this COB EP, because it has two new songs (relatively new anyway, as this EP has been available in Europe for many months), as well as two cover songs. Apparently this little record is supposed to hold fans over until the next Children of Bodom full-length, which is said to be on the way late this year.
As a Children of Bodom fan, I have to say that I enjoy this little teaser, but it's hard to get really excited about only two new songs. However, since these two songs are the meat of this EP, I will focus on what's going on in this short period of time. "Hate Crew Death Roll" marks a slight change in Children of Bodom's sound from their previous efforts. I noticed that the overall aggression has been stepped up, and the guitar tones have been tweaked to a grittier, more crunchy sound. I really enjoyed the added brutality, while the overall melody and catchy feeling of their songs remained intact. Well, with Trashed, Lost, & Strung Out, and Knuckleduster, the band has pushed their sound a little bit farther.
These two new tracks boast even more aggression than previous Children of Bodom albums, and like before, none of the melody is sacrificed. Keyboard player Janne Warman seems to have upped the intricacy of his writing, and his performance stands out a little more than usual, yet is still tasteful. I think his performance corrals most of the melody in these songs, because the rest of the band seems bent on crushing the listener. The often-overlooked rhythm section of this band has come together to pull off an airtight performance. There are even moments in the first track that remind me of a late-90's hardcore sound, which could be similar to Disembodied on uppers and a six-pack of Red Bulls. Even Alexi Lanho's vocals are more brutal, and he seems to possess a newfound affinity for experimenting with a lower range, rather than always using his higher-pitched screams. This is a nice dynamic, which just adds to a more interesting Children of Bodom sound.
Next are the two cover songs, which are "Bed of Nails," by Alice Cooper, and "She is Beautiful," by Andrew W.K. Each cover song is actually a true cover, in which the band does a good job of mixing their own sound, while clearly retaining the original aesthetic of each song. However, I'm just not that impressed. I'm sure it was fun for Children of Bodom to record some cover songs, but it is a really weak follow-up to their two new songs. I'm not a big fan of Alice Cooper or Andrew W.K., so I just might not understand the appeal. I will say that Children of Bodom's cover of "She is Beautiful" is just as silly as the original, so "cheers" to you guys for keeping it "real."
Bottom Line: The two new songs are great, the production is great, and the cover songs are mildly amusing, so there isn't anything terrible about this record. If I can only get four songs, then I would prefer to have them all be new songs, but that's life. This EP is decent enough, and I'm sure any fan of Children of Bodom will find this to be a fun listening experience.