Originally written by Harley Carlson.
Finland’s Children Of Bodom is an entity that really doesn’t require an introduction. Since 1994 the band has hammered out some of the most awe-inspiring and significant music that is, in most cases, on a level all its own. Over time, Alexi Laiho and company have emerged as one of the most widely recognized acts in the underground. Dominating the scene with countless tours throughout Europe, South America, and Japan, the band finally assaulted the North American market with high profile gigs with the likes of Iced Earth, Dimmu Borgir, and Lamb Of God, only further expanding their frenzied fanbase as each show increased in attendance. As a fan who has been following the band since the beginning, I have witnessed both their misfortunes and their milestones and even though I feel they have never really surpassed the quality of their debut Something Wild, Children Of Bodom have blown me away on some measure with each successive release and, often times, left me pondering ‘Who the fuck is Yngwie Malmsteen?’.
Speaking of new releases, even though it’s been out overseas for some time, Children Of Bodom’s latest EP teaser, titled Trashed, Lost & Strungout, will hit the stateside streets in early 2005. Rather than shamelessly attempting to cash in on songs they’ve previously recorded on earlier albums, the band opted to build this mini-disc around two new cuts and a couple covers. To give you a decent idea of what to expect, the pair of fresh tracks sound as if they could have been leftovers from the Follow The Reaper sessions. The opening song, which also happens to be the title track, starts out with what I assume is a Slayer inspired riff that morphs into a thrashing squelch harmonic affair, customary in Laiho’s fret work. Naturally, it just wouldn’t be Children Of Bodom if it didn’t feature grandiose neoclassical guitar and keyboard interplay during the solo segments, and this song certainly delivers an abundance of lavish leads.
Next up is a little ditty called “Knuckleduster” (not a White Zombie cover) and for some reason Chaos A.D. era Sepultura comes to mind. Not that it necessarily sounds anything like the Brazilian thrash legends, but there is definitely a similar vibe going on here that I really don’t know how to explain. Considering Children Of Bodom are big fans, it would make sense that there could be some subtle influence in there. In accordance with “Trashed, Lost & Strungout”, “Knuckleduster” also bubbles over with flawless guitar and keyboard noodling. Simply stunning, as usual!
Kicking off the cover’s half of the disc is “Bed Of Nails”, originally performed by Alice Cooper. It’s probably been upwards of twelve years since I’ve heard this song, so I have no genuine recollection of it to compare to Children Of Bodom’s version. I do remember, however, that Cooper’s band did NOT end this classic with twenty seconds of blast beats. This aspect kills the overall flow of what is otherwise a great rendition. Thankfully this mishap is at the end of the song. Onward with the odd man out on Trashed, Lost & Strungout… Remember when Dragonland redid “The Neverending Story”? Now that was a strange choice that turned out to work great as a metal song. With the Andrew W.K. radio hit “She Is Beautiful” closing this EP, I am honestly speechless. The song was never very good to begin with and I am indecisive on whether or not it is any better now that it has been mutated into metal. I’ll let you know when I know! By that time I am sure you will have heard it and drawn your own conclusion.
Massive riffs is the name of the game and Alexi never disappoints in this department. The quality of his vocals have been on a decline for quite some time but other than that, Trashed, Lost & Strungout is a decent EP that will keep you fanatics drooling until the next full-length Children Of Bodom album is in your greedy little hands.