LIZZY BORDEN
"My Midnight Things"

(Metal Blade)

01. My Midnight Things
02. Obsessed with You
03. Long May They Haunt Us
04. The Scar Across My Heart
05. A Stranger to Love
06. The Perfect Poison
07. Run Away with Me
08. Our Love Is God
09. My Midnight Things (reprise)
10. We Belong to the Shadows

RATING: 8/10

If you've followed LIZZY BORDEN since the "Give 'Em the Axe" EP, you've learned to come prepared for the unexpected. As one of the L.A. metal scene's most ferocious acts, nobody was prepared for the lighter direction taken on 1987's "Visual Lies". The ""Master of Disguise" album two years later proved to be a wild gambit that returned cred to Lizzy, if not a wider audience embracing his need to grow as a performance artist.

It's been 11 years since the bricks-heavy "Appointment With Death" album, which leaves to question where Lizzy Borden's musical mind frame is at in 2018. Well, make sure you're sitting down when dialing into "My Midnight Things", a bold and shifty glitter rock album with roots dug from seventies rock and moody goth-pop from which HIM staked its massive career upon. For longtime LIZZY BORDEN fans, an open mind will be prerequisite, but the positive news is this album is more endearing instead of off-putting.

What's remarkable from the outset of this album is how sharp Lizzy sounds, and how operatic the title track rings. With a touch of QUEEN, a dash of Meat Loaf and a glossed-up revitalization of classic L.A. metal, "My Midnight Things" rolls like a champion. Its hazy synth spritzes carry into the catchier-than-hell "Obsessed with You", "The Perfect Poison" and "Run Away with Me".

If it's not apparent after two songs that this album is hardly a standard LIZZY BORDEN disc, "Long May They Haunt Us" throws another unexpected curve, effortlessly mating THE BEACH BOYS and goth with a charming sugary swing. "The Scar Across My Heart" finds Lizzy and the band taking on pop punk, but it's happily more akin to REDD KROSS than FALL OUT BOY.

Story continues after advertisement

How much shrewder does the band have to be than with "The Perfect Poison"? The song soars on Marten Andersson's lobbing bass, and a groove so delicious you'd nearly say yes to a cyanide chaser. Lizzy Borden himself stands tall with each building bar, whipping King Diamond-worthy shrieks at will. This song is major league stuff with each tick.

"Our Love Is God" being the heaviest monster of the album, its proto crunch ushers Lizzy Borden's whirligig notes through its new-gen mash. And with the pop elevations of "We Belong to the Shadows" mingling a heave of SURVIVOR-based sweat rock with nervy hits of contemporary pop, it all surprisingly well suits him.

With HIM snuffing out its own goth-pop torch, it's hardly likely the band’s audience (a demographic possibly unfamiliar with "Menace to Society" and "Love You to Pieces") will flock to LIZZY BORDEN. That doesn't mean Lizzy and the band didn't take some damn good notes on staying relevant. After 11 years, "My Midnight Things" rings like a Hail Mary album, but it's so stinking smart and exciting, it connects receptions more often than not.

At this point in his career having sung "American Metal" and "Me Against the World" to a presumed point of inherent boredom, it's stellar that Lizzy Borden challenges himself like this with zero to lose and a bucket load of cred to gain. This still being Lizzy Borden, though, check that bucket for a gallon or two of stage blood.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).