Live review

University, Manchester : 10.9.2002

The hairspray clogged corpse of LA glam was one that no one was expecting to walk again, but true to their word Murderdolls have reanimated it with a Misfits spin for a new generation of potential poseurs . . . What comes around goes around, as I believe Tuff once commented.
    Life hasn't been good to Murderdolls recently. Only a few weeks ago Tripp Eisen was called back to the ranks of Static-X, being replaced on guitar by Acey Slade. Tonight we learn that bassist Eric Griffin has just flown back to the States to be with his family after an unexpected death. Gamely filling the breach tonight is Alex from support band Antiproduct. Will this slow the Murderdolls machine? I don't think so . . .

Murderdolls - Click to enlargeThe pre-show chants of "Joey" say a lot about why this band has gained so much support so quickly; I'd hazard a guess that nine out of ten people here tonight own at least one Slipknot album. Well, while Stone Sour don't veer too far from the Slipknot template, Murderdolls are an entirely different proposition . . . Enter Mr Motherfucker: Murderdolls hit the stage with a non-album track which is a blast of messy punk, complete with unintelligible snarling from Wednesday 13. The unorthodox opener doesn't phase the crowd though - at least half of the University hall is flailing bodies, and things are about to get worse . . .
    She Was A Teenage Zombie follows, and we're all singing along to the pun-filled lyrics as Joey Jordison and Acey Slade throw daft shapes on-stage, shadowed by a grimacing Alex Kane holding down the low-end.

Murderdolls - Click to enlargeLet's Go To War segues into Love At First Fright - an ode to The Exorcist's pea soup puking Regan MacNeil - before Twist My Sister and Die My Bride follow. A shoe flies onto the stage from the crush below . . . "Someone's lost a foot" quips Wednesday.
    Beyond The Valley . . . highlight Grave Robbing USA is aired, as are another couple more non-album tracks, Let's Fuck and I Love To Say Fuck. Hey, no one said it was going to be highbrow . . .
    Speaker stack antics from Jordison accompany 197666 - "In 197666 I nailed a GI Joe to a crucifix." - with single Dead In Hollywood and Slit My Wrist closing the night's show.

I'm still not sure whether Murderdolls are actually important or just an entertaining diversion. For someone who's seen Kiss, Mötley Crüe et al, it's easy to write them off as a pale imitation of the bands that inspired them. If the only bands you've ever seen live have been a succession of post-grunge navel-gazers, Murderdolls may well be a revelation. Sometimes it's best not to analyse and just enjoy.

:: Rowan Shaeffer

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