JULY 27th 2018

Review By: Ruben Mosqueda

I first discovered Lizzy Borden in 1986 when I popped into a record store in Portland, Oregon. At the time I was discovering metal, but had been a fan of hard rock for 2-3 years. Often, I’d pick up albums based on the covers, by albums, I mean cassettes. The latest Lizzy Borden album was ‘Menace To Society’ if you’re familiar with the album cover, you know that artwork would easily catch the attention of a 13 year old, eager to discover new music. Then in 1987 came the follow-up album which topped the previous, that record was ‘Visual Lies’ it featured the MTV video regular “Me Against The World.” It was relatable for a kid in his early teens. Lizzy Borden’s brand of ‘glammed up, shock rock’ was cool without being ultra cheesy. ‘Visual Lies’ also featured; “Lord Of The Flies,” and “Den Of Thieves” which were simply fantastic. Lizzy Borden returned with a concept album in 1989 titled ‘Master Of Disguise,’ which marked a departure from the trademark Lizzy Borden album sound. It was slick, polished and self indulgent, all would have been forgiven had the songs were there. At the tail end of the decade a band could ill afford to take a misstep like Lizzy Borden had done, because grunge was on its way.  

It wasn’t until 2000 that Lizzy Borden returned from a lengthy hiatus with ‘Deal With The Devil’ which is probably the best album by the band to date. There was new life to Lizzy Borden, it appeared like they righted the ship; that is until the next record; 2007s ‘Appointment With Death.’ What an appropriately tiled record that reflected just where this band was going, it was truly disappointing that the band had delivered such lackluster records during the course of 20 year period. Sure, it was three records, but one solid record and two bricks in a period of 20 years? Even Lizzy’s idol Alice Cooper at the height of his addiction, issued more albums that were consistent.

Which brings us to the new Lizzy Borden album ‘My Midnight Things,’ I don’t know what surprised me more the fact that he still has a record contract or that 11 years removed from the last record, he wants to take another shot at it? It wasn’t until this record that I realized how montunos the layered lead vocals are, its just trying. In fairness, I had to hear for myself, after all it is possible that Borden could have written some good song ideas in the past 11 years, right? Well, I was wrong, while these songs have ‘some’ potential to become something, there’s not enough here to really comment on. It’s not terrible but it’s not good, either--just unremarkable. It’s like Lizzy Borden ‘mailing it in’ and trying too hard to be relevant in 2018--it’s a young man’s world. If you didn’t make it in the 80s or 90s, the chances of you having a break through in 2018 if you’re in your 50s in basically nill. There are a couple of tracks on ‘My Midnight Things’ that hit the spot, “Obsessed With You” which is classic Lizzy and the single [first release] from the album “Long May They Haunt Us.” The latter being the catchiest track on the album and had there been more of that ‘My Midnight Things’ would have helped Lizzy Borden regain some of his footing. Bands can’t afford to take hiatuses, breaks, spilt up then come back and expect to continue with the momentum that they had when they last were on the scene. The odds are less if there’s no songs. ‘My Midnight Things’ is evidence of this.