REVIEW: Evil Is Sexy

One of the things I try hard to do with this site is give exposure to smaller, or maybe just not as well-known wizard rock bands who deserve to be listened to.  Now, there are a lot of really good wizard rock bands out there, so a few of them fall through the cracks, and never really get mentioned outside of superfluous posts that have only the most tangential of connections with wizard rock.  Also, sometimes I review a large swath of a certain type of wizard rock, for example, my list of the top twelve EP of the Month Club EPs, but due to the constraint of arbitrarily assigned numbers, a couple EPs that really deserve attention and accolade didn’t get mentioned.  One of these is the second-ever EP ever released as part of the club, Voldemort‘s Evil Is Sexy.

I’ve got a confession to make: I’ve never been a huge metal fan.  I’ve never been anti-metal, but I’ve never really sought it out.  And, like rap, I mostly only like metal when it’s got some sort of funny or nerdy kink to it – for example, the awesome Pirate Metal band, Alestorm.  I’m willing to give less nerdy rap and metal a chance if someone says “Hey, this is a good song, you should check it out,” but I don’t seek it out.  Nevertheless, I was really taken by Evil Is Sexy, long before I got the actual album.  You see, on the website of the EP of the Month Club, they have one track from each EP available for your listening and downloading pleasure, to give you a taste of what it’s all about, and I downloaded and loved the titular song “Evil Is Sexy” to death, and when I eventually got the 2007 discography (sometime in 2008 when one of the DeGeorges found a few extra sets of that year hiding underneath a particularly obese muskrat), I hoped to hear more of the same.  And for the most part, I did, and sometimes more of the better.  Wait, that doesn’t really work.  Whatevs.

Anyway, we start off with some dungeon-esque sound effects (something MC Kreacher also did, though I feel it worked a bit better on Alone In The Dark than in this album) as the driving, albeit repetitive guitar and slamming percussion slowly fade in.  And then comes Voldemort’s voice.  You see, Voldemort is described in the books as having a high-pitched voice, something not seen in wizard rock (or heck, even the movies, really) until Ministry of Magic‘s Voldemark.  Voldemort’s voice in, well, Voldemort, is your classic death metal sound:

BLAH

It’s hilarious, especially when you contrast it with what the lead singer’s voice actually sounds like:

BLAH

(Clip from Episode BLAH of the sadly defunct Podcast of Awesome)

So, it may not be a canon-compliant voice, but I like it, and it works damn well with the genre.

The EP is comprised of seven tracks, all of which (except for one notable exception) are decent to excellent tracks.  Now, if I knew anything about metal, which, as I’ve already established, I do not, I might say “If you like metal, you’ll like this album.”  But I don’t, so I won’t.  However, Russ of Creevey Crisis likes metal, and he likes this album, so…  Anyway, if you hate metal, then this album probably won’t change your mind, but you’ll still probably find something worthwhile in tracks like “The Dark Mark In The Sky” and “Feeding The Basilisk”.  If you’re a metal agnostic, then there’s a good chance you’ll like this album, and it may even curry some favor towards metal.

Evil Is Sexy is not without its missteps, with the first two tracks being among the EP’s weakest.  They aren’t terrible tracks by any means, but beginning the album with a song about Filch was not the best idea for a band that’s almost always from the POV of Voldemort, a Death Eater, or a generic Slytherin/evil “voice”.  Lyrically, it just feels weird, and I think it would have done a lot better nestled somewhere in the middle.  Also, the first two tracks are quite listenable, but they aren’t worthy of too many replays, and they don’t really build up a lot of excitement for the rest of the album.  Again, these aren’t bad tracks, but I wouldn’t really blame you if you stopped listening after them, declaring it to “not be [your] thing”.

However, you would have done yourself a great disservice, because you would have missed out on the best song on the EP and one of the greatest filks in all of wrock: “The Dark Mark In The Sky”, a fucking fantastic, hard-rocking cover of the Stan-Jones-Writing-In-The-Style-Of-A-Traditional-American-Folk-Song “Ghost Riders In The Sky”.  Like Wizard Rock Made Me Crap My Pants, Evil Is Sexy succeeds most when employing the fine art of flattery, I mean, imitation, I mean, parody.  However, instead of using this style in order to achieve maximum humorosity, Voldemort’s parodies work so well because the songs being parodied are ones that originally, where nowhere near metal.  Transposing folk songs, or alt rock songs into metal proves to be surprisingly awesome, and Voldemort uses this to full effect with “Feeding The Basilisk”, without a doubt the greatest cover of Harry and the Potters’ (no, I’m not linking to them) seminal hit, “Save Ginny Weasley”.  Not only is it nice to hear this song with some hard-rocking sensibilities (though they keep roughly the same tempo as the original, and it’s thusly not as fast as I would have liked a metal cover of that song to be), but it’s lyrics are basically the antithesis to the original song.  I mean, I think “We’ve got to feed Ginny Weasley to the basilisk” just might be the greatest lyric in wizard rock, if not the universe.

So, the highs on Evil Is Sexy are very, very high, but the lows are also pretty damn low.  Or should I say, the low is pretty damn low.  “The Baby-Headed Death Eater” is a terrible, awful, unlistenable track, but you know what? I can’t hate it, because it’s supposed to be.  Now, usually, I hate stuff that is intentionally bad, especially songs, because even if it’s supposed to be bad, it still sounds bad and I’m not gonna listen to it.  However, the idea behind is just so clever, and the execution is so flawless that I can’t hate it.  Basically, this track is the same decent metal you’ve come to know over the course of the album, but with a screaming baby overlaid on top of it.  For a full minute.  I appreciate Voldemort having the restraint (wow, that’s a phrase I never expected to write) to keep the joke track short, but for me to actually last through the whole thing, it would have to be about 15 seconds long at the most.  But if it had been that short, it would have seemed like a weird blip in the album, and come off much worse than it actually does.  So, even the worst track on this EP is the best that it possibly could be, but I still unchecked that little check mark box on iTunes so I never have to hear the fucking thing again.

The final track on the EP is the song that made me interested in Voldemort in the first place, the titular track “Evil Is Sexy”, which is the best non-parody song on the album.  It’s a melodic (as in, it has a good melody [it’s hilarious that I even have to clarify that]), fast-paced, kick-ass song all about how awesome (and sexy) evil in general, and Voldemort and the Death Eaters in particular, are.  If I ever get a cell phone, the bit where Voldemort starts singing the word “bullshit” over and over will totes be my ringtone.

While I was disappointed that the non-parody tracks on Evil Is Sexy were never as good as the song that made me interested in the album in the first place, at the very least (beyond the one with an infant yelling) they are decent, and can even reach the status “of quite good, old chap”.  And the best songs on the album are really, really, really good, and I say that because for some reason it seems a bit more sincere than “FUCKING AWESOME!!!!!”, though both are correct.

As in “Exceeds Expectations“.  Click the link for a rundown of my grading system.

So, I finally tried out a new format for a review this time (i.e. not listing every single solitary track on the album) – I’d like to hear how you thought it went.  I’m personally not entirely happy with it, but I do think this style of review was the best fit for me for this particular album.  There are some songs that you can go one for pages about, and some that you can’t do much more than say “It’s pretty good” or “It’s pretty bad.”  Welp, at least I got in two articles this week, maybe the full set will return next week?  Have a good weekend!

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26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Russ
    Sep 24, 2010 @ 04:04:58

    Great writeup. I’m biased though, because Voldemort was instrumental (pun intended) in my getting interested in wizard rock (along with Hollow Godric and Riddle TM). Yes, their lyrics are often tongue in cheek instead of being purely evil, but at a time when the majority of wizard rock was people recording with just an acoustic guitar, they really stood out to me in 2007, along with bands like Thestral, Striking Down Diggory, The Sectumsempras, Lord Voldi and the Dark Marks, etc.

    Plus, I mean…. blast beats. Who doesn’t love blast beats?

    Reply

    • wrocksnob
      Sep 24, 2010 @ 09:25:06

      First of all, I hate you and hope you die in an avalanche of goats for that pun. Mostly because I wish I’d thought of it first. Secondly, THE SECTUMSEMPRAS. They were definitely influential for me, when I was young snob and had to make do with scavenging off of podcasts for wrock tunes. “The Offer” is particularly amazing, and “Hey Mr. Minister” is also really, really good (and a tad reminiscent of Icon of Coil’s “Mr. Speaker”).

      Reply

  2. gfsfgdsf
    Sep 24, 2010 @ 15:56:18

    first post

    Reply

  3. molly
    Sep 24, 2010 @ 16:08:25

    I dig the new format. Succinct is a good color on you.

    Reply

  4. Arodhwen
    Sep 25, 2010 @ 16:06:01

    I liked the lists better, but that’s just because I’m crazy about format.

    And, whaaaaat? “Feeding the Basilisk” is “totes” (to use your word) the best song on the EP. It made my life while driving home from Rochester. I could NOT stop laughing.

    Reply

    • wrocksnob
      Sep 25, 2010 @ 20:27:45

      Eh, it’s the second best IMO. I mean, it is clever like bananas, but it just doesn’t rock as hard as “Dark Mark”. Also, lists are not going away. I just switched up the order of things this week.

      Reply

  5. asdf
    Sep 25, 2010 @ 21:09:32

    i am addicted to farmville

    Reply

  6. VoldeMargo
    Sep 27, 2010 @ 09:42:43

    I’m rather enamoured of the EP cover. Who knew that the silhouette of a skull regurgitating a reptile could be so…sexy?

    Reply

  7. weight
    Sep 27, 2010 @ 20:11:52

    yeah my dad will like this

    Reply

  8. avg free download
    Oct 06, 2010 @ 13:02:50

    hope and change

    Reply

  9. wrocknquidditch
    Oct 07, 2010 @ 10:10:37

    I, too, am not a seeker of the metal, but I love this EP. Great reviewing choice. 🙂 Well done.

    Reply

  10. Zelym
    Oct 17, 2010 @ 12:58:41

    coool!!! i never think of that!! if you

    Reply

  11. limewire free download
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 12:04:25

    limewire is perfect

    Reply

    • wrocksnob
      Oct 27, 2010 @ 19:41:11

      No, it’s definitely not. Any P2P sharing service that requires you to put your computer inside a coconut and then shake it all up before it will run a search is bad enough, but the fact that it will wait until the morning to notify you of the results of the search is even worst.

      Reply

      • Russ
        Oct 27, 2010 @ 19:44:20

        Given that the RIAA was finally successful today in shutting down Limewire (Google News is your friend), I’d have to say that unsuccessful spambot troll is unsuccessful

        Reply

        • wrocksnob
          Oct 27, 2010 @ 21:10:28

          And a spambot troll. Also, really? I hadn’t heard about that. Huh. I wonder what will happen if I open up Limewire… Okay, gonna type in a search guaranteed to have some hits… “Lady Gaga”… Okay, that isn’t working, now for the ultimate final weapon that will conveniently take about three episodes to fully charge… “porn”. If there are no hits for this, Limewire is officially dead. Yeah, after twenty minutes of searching, not a single measly cup, not to mention any girls. Ding dong, the witch is dead…

          Reply

  12. 監視器
    Nov 04, 2010 @ 13:54:14

    Sending someone a message…they don’t reply…they must be out…then they post a Facebook status. Great, they’re ignoring me.

    Reply

  13. fuckbook
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 17:03:07

    With the spread of poor information sharing on the web regarding this subject on the web, it’s refreshing to see some well written content.

    Reply

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