ALBUM REVIEW: Screem Writers Guild – Lordi

This post was originally published on this site

Someone, somewhere is going to be astonished that LORDI are up to 18 studio albums nowadays. Granted, they released seven of those in one go in the shape of Lordiversity in 2021 – a genuinely impressive feat of both history spanning rock variety and sheer effort – but for the most part they’ve maintained a steady release of music since their Eurovision win propelled them into a global spotlight nearly two decades ago. Read that twice, let it sink in.

While the onus from day one of the LORDI songwriting journey has always been on the campy side of things, their last few albums have seen the tongue burst through the other side of the cheek it was in and waggle around Gene Simmons-style for effect. Though new effort Screem Writers Guild doesn’t quite reach concept album levels of connected theme, the overall B-movie monster vibe is slathered thick all over proceedings for pretty much every second of the one-hour runtime.

Despite the near-oppressive motif, proceedings start as though the style to substance ratio remains intact. Opener Dead Again Jayne is the hardest anything gets on the album, a thumping racket that epitomises exactly what LORDI can do when left to their heavier inclinations. Interestingly, it’s placed before the introduction to the album, as though it needed to be kept separate for its own safety.

From there the direction veers off into big, radio friendly fun and boy oh boy do LORDI know their monster onions when it comes to writing hooky radio rock. Vampyro Fang Club ticks every single AOR box going; the faux crooning of Mr. Lordi matching the dramatic keyboard flare-ups and chant-along chorus perfectly. New guitarist Kone squeals the strings delightfully throughout, Lycantropical Island a fruitful proving ground for his riffing skills and, for a while, it seems like Screem Writers Guild might just pull this off.

Then the wheels start to wobble. Putting a clean, country-style ballad in The Bride dead centre of the album was a bold choice, even for them, and suitably hammy promises of violence alone can’t save the ship from the rocks. The commitment to the movie monster bit is stretched within an inch of its life by the album’s end, too. The SCG Awards marks the entirely unnecessary return of Nosferuiz from the introduction in an excruciating award show skit based around even more dreadful puns, while In The Castle Of Dracoolove lacks enough of both the oomph of tracks like the oozing, ahhing Heavengence and the solid riffage of the excellently punchy Inhumanoid to make it worth hearing such a similar thing again.

Power through the bumps, however, and a prize awaits. LORDI aren’t generally regarded for their ballads (see above), but End Credits, a bizarrely detailed and frankly absurd MEATLOAF-esque closer might change that view. A sugar coated lump of showtune muscle that needs to be heard to be believed, it builds to a chorus-laden, swelling climax offset by a knockout of a guitar solo and props up the back end almost single-handedly, prompting the very fair question “why didn’t the album finish with this three songs ago?

It was always going to be a tough ask to follow Lordiversity and while Screem Writers Guild has a handful of fall flat moments (and one or two disastrous ones), it remains a undeterrable amount of fun. There’s some solid, catchy stuff hidden in and around all the laughably awful puns and monstrous amount of filler and new guitarist Kone is a definite highlight, but the good times come with an unfortunate amount of slog to get to them. It’s by no means LORDI’s worst work, but it certainly lacks the consistency of their previous, just as fun releases.

Rating: 6/10

Screem Writers Guild - Lordi

Screem Writers Guild is out now via Atomic Fire Records.

Like LORDI on Facebook.

The post ALBUM REVIEW: Screem Writers Guild – Lordi appeared first on Distorted Sound Magazine.

You May Also Like