November 18, 2014 Lordi – Scare Force One (Album Review)
Lordi are one of Finland’s best known bands, formed in 1992 as a solo project. Mr Lordi (Vocals/costume design) soon hit on the idea of a band of monsters, however it was not until 1996 that he recruited Amen (Guitars), meeting him on a Finnish Kiss Cruise. After issues with labels going bankrupt, they finally came to prominence in 2002 and have toured ever since. They are still the only heavy Rock band, as well as Finnish band, to win the annual Europe-wide songwriting/performance competition, The Eurovision Song Contest. Their freakish costumes and outlandish style are what sets them apart from most Metal/Rock bands, and their sound is a cross between Alice Cooper and KISS, while looking like rejects from Gwar. This is Shock Cock Rock and not to be taken too seriously, it is meant to be fun and entertaining. The rest of the band have changed a few times over the years, and they currently include Ox (Bass), Mana (Drums) and Hella (Keyboards/vocals). Keeping their real identities secret through the years, Lordi return with their second album in consecutive years titled Scare Force One.
By way of introduction to the album, “SCG7: Arm Your Doors and Cross Check” is a choral piece in Finnish, ethereal and classical in style. It certainly is a stunning piece of music and nothing like what is coming next. “Scare Force One” is next, and the title track sets the theme for a Halloween style Comedy Horror, full of Ogres, Ghouls, and Skeletons. A pun on the name for the President of America’s plane, it is a social commentary as well as a bit of nonsense. “How to Slice a Whore” is a short and not very sweet track, continuing in their mock Horror style, fast-paced with growly vocals, followed by “Hell Sent in the Clowns.” The latter track makes reference to ‘Coulrophobia,’ complete with fairground style music and demonic laughter, these are evil clowns for sure, and bound to raise a smile with the lyrics. Meanwhile “House of Ghosts” is a more epic style of Rock with the same fairground undercurrent, spooky and with husky vocals to emphasize the fear the listener should be experiencing.
More commercial sounding “Monster Is My Name,” is humorous and very Alice Cooper’s “Welcome to My Nightmare” in style. The huge chorus of “Cadaver Lover” will make it a sing-a-long favourite live, however its shock value is lost by virtue of it being done before by Cooper with “I love the Dead” in 1973. “Amen’s Lament to Ra II” is a short guitar instrumental, forlorn and exquisite, and is a welcome change of pace. This is followed by “Nailed by the Hammer of Frankenstein” which is a song about girls getting very drunk and partying, celebratory in style, it carries a hidden warning about binge drinking. “The United Rocking Dead” is anthemic and defiant, grinding guitars and fist pumping through to the end, while “She’s a Demon” is a melodic love song, with a wicked twist. Another short theatrical piece, “Hella’s Kitchen,” is a musical interlude, childlike and twisted. Finally returning full circle to the opening parody about the US president, “Sir, Mr Presideath, Sir” is quite political, satirical, rejoicing, but yet mocking, and finished by a comical voice-over from the pilot of an airplane about to crash.
Lordi leans more to Rock than Metal for Scare Force One, having fun and making highly enjoyable music. Not as shocking as it might be, there is nothing that has not been done before at least, but this band is still a force to be reckoned with. Scare Force One is a great listen, as well as a fine homage to KISS, Twister Sister, and Alice Cooper, so those into those bands will love this. Lordi have also shown off their skills here, with the few interludes demonstrating that they can be serious and they have the talent, they just choose to be eccentric and frivolous. CrypticRock give Scare Force One 4 out of 5 stars.