A horrible hack

Lesbian Bed Death

Riot of the Living Dead

Year Released: 2012
Format: CD
Label: Psychophonic
Reviewed by Captain Fidanza on Oct 2, 2012
First of all, hats off to Lesbian Bed Death.

When Collectivezine sent me a copy of Lesbian Bed Death’s previous album, 2010’s “Designed by the Devil, Powered by the Dead” I felt sure that with a sufficiently scathing review, I could silence this beast forever. But here we are in 2012, two years on from that review and the beast has returned, roaring back with an album that’s bigger, bolder and significantly longer than its predecessor.

Let’s contextualize.

The best album ever made by anyone is “Invisible Touch” by Genesis, everyone knows that, it’s a fact universally acknowledged; that’s why Genesis were chosen to perform the album in its entirety at the opening ceremony of the 29th Olympiad in Beijing. Even Chinese people, who hate all music, wanted Genesis to play, “Invisible Touch” from start to finish because every one of the 1.3 billion people living there own a copy and love it.

The length of “Invisible Touch” by Genesis is 45:42.
The length of “Riot of the Living Dead” by Lesbian Bed Death is 53.36.

That’s a huge statement.

But, in deference to Bob Woodward, let’s not consider the overall and think about the details, the individual songs which make up this magnum opus. For a start, this album has 13 songs on it, which is one more than featured on “Designed by the Devil, Powered by the Dead,” so that means this album is obviously one better than the last album.

1+1 = 2
One more = one better.

Anyway, to details.

Every one of the songs here is seemingly,

a) about monsters.
b) written by a nine year old.

Let’s elucidate.

They came from the slums of hell
Bringing fear and dread
They have nothing left to say
‘Cos their brains are dead

Those are actual lyrics from the ninth song on this album. I didn’t read them on the walls of a lunatic asylum after someone had daubed them there in their own excrement. They are real. Lyrics aside, every single one of these songs sounds exactly the same, a situation not helped by the fact that the singer (of whom more later) has one of those voices that only really works when it is recorded at the highest possible volume. It’s the sort of voice which people who watch Saturday evening talent shows would refer to as powerful, but not powerful as in having the ability to convey depth of meaning, just powerful in the way that a car would feel if it drove directly into your forehead.

Driving this vocal juggernaut is a musicianship which veers toward the very worse kind of unnecessary, with a deafening squall of three or four layers of guitar filling every available second on the album. Oh sure, it’s played “robustly” with “passion,” “heart” and all those other things which idiots think is necessary to be a “rock and roller,” all the time assuming that the louder a sentiment is screamed, the more fervently it’s believed.

But enough of that, let’s have some more lyrics.

Where is he?
Is he here?
Is he in the house?
Don’t talk, don’t speak
Be quiet like a mouse

I think there might be a simile in that final line up there but it’s been concealed so artfully I can’t quite locate it. This unbelievably trite remark of mine, despite representing everything hollow and sneering about my review of “Riot of the Living Dead” by Lesbian Bed Death, does, unfortunately illustrate one point rather well, and that is that there’s absolutely nothing here which is in anyway subtle or understated.

I will concede that of course not everything needs to be accompanied by an arched eyebrow or ironic wink to let you know that its creator has spent more than ten minutes devising it, but even Sir Mix-a-Lot was partial to the occasional moment of levity, as exemplified by his 1989 classic, “My Hooptie.”

Cops keep jockin, grabbing like gators
‘Bout stereotypes, I’m lookin’ nuthin like Noriega.
Cop took my wallet, looked at my license
His partner said “damn, they all look like Tyson”

© 1989 Sir Mix-a-Lot

There’s nothing wrong with holding a little something back from time to time, leaving something on the lower shelf to enrich (and ensure) a second listen. But Lesbian Bed Death leave nothing to the imagination, they do all the work first time around so you don’t have any interest in seeing them ever again. This would be an excellent record to have as the very first album you ever listened to if you were a thirteen-year old girl and still thought the following were cool and exciting,

1. Tattoos.
2. Swear words.
3. Vampires.
4. A capital letter “T” rendered as a crucifix.
5. Dark glasses.
6. Men wearing cowboy hats.

If however, you’re not a thirteen-year old girl, this music is not for you.

That said, if you’re a fan of that brilliant new Wes Craven film which satirises all those silly horror films from the 1980s by having a group of gorgeous American actors play out all the clichés but actually get killed for real in the film or is it a film that’s the clever thing you see and that’s why it’s so clever because you never really know what’s happening and her out of Friends is in it and the one from ET gets killed in the first minute.

Ghost face is here, better run for your life Sydney
Now he can hear you scream, no one can hear you shout, “Help me”

Or did this film come out in 1996? I can’t quite remember.

Anyway, just in case spending fifty-six minutes and thirty-six seconds of your life listening to Lesbian Bed Death is not sufficient for you, the band has very generously provided a free DVD, which has all their videos on it and even – some behind the scenes, making-of footage.

That’s right, for nine and a half agonising minutes, you too can look behind the scenes of the recording of “Riot of the Living Dead” in the company of Kittie Racchea (Vocals) Mr. Peach (Rhythm guitar), Chuckmaster C (Lead guitar), Danny Stigmata (Drums) and Will Power (Bass guitar).

Thrill to scenes of the guys drinking beer and listening to playback of themselves in the home studio where the album was recorded.

Marvel at the sight of one of them tuning up his instrument for a bit.

Wonder at the deafening, “woodpecker inside your skull”, volume of the click track used to help record all this.

Delight as one of them does a big burp after one minute and four seconds.

If you can sit through this without leaving the room once, you’re a stronger woman than me and I’ve sat through the entirety of Essex Pub Gangbang without a single drop of alcohol in my bloodstream.

This album currently has one review on Amazon by someone whose sole consumer review places them at a lofty 424,160th on the Amazon reviewer league table. The score ?

★★★★★ out of a possible ★★★★★

No I know I’m biased, but using my own star-based rating system, I would be more inclined to give this album

★ out of a possible ★.

The interesting thing about my star-based rating system is that ★ out of a possible ★ is at once the absolute best and absolute worst review available. In fact ★ out of a possible ★ is the only review available in this system, a minor flaw which has drawn considerable criticism but which, I feel, serves to strengthen and legitimise the very foundations of rating the hard work of other people using small pictures of stars.

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