The Murder Junkies - A Killing Tradition (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Murder Junkies

A Killing Tradition (2013)


A version of the infamous GG Allin's backing band, the Murder Junkies continue his tradition of banging out ruff and tumble rock tunes that have been run through all manner of horrors. Including GG's brother Merle, The Murder Junkies clean up their act a little bit, but also hone their skills, which makes A Killing Tradition a step in the right or wrong direction depending on your perspective.

The original Murder Junkies pushed all manner of social norm boundaries by singing about pooping, fighting, alcoholism, and rape. Here, the band include the first three topics but back off the fourth. The result is, A Killiing Tradition doesn't raise as many questions about what it is, but it is a more rocking album.

As before, the songs are based in hammering, choppy three-chord banging. The songs, despite including lyrics like "Everyone I know is an asshole," actually adhere to concept of the classic pop song. Newish vocalist PP Duvay references Allin's whisky-soaked growl, but unlike GG's last days, Duvay's words are comprehensible and carry the tune. Likewise, the band are much sharper then they used to be. Frankly, the Murder Junkies used to be a shamble of a band. Here, they click together so that they still sound loose, but the rhythm and banging of the music isn't made weak by poor performances.

Lyrically, the band are still fairly nasty. "Who gives a fuck what you like" attacks critics and people that seem to be hip or "in the know." "Shit Princess" is about what you think it is about. But, perhaps as a result of getting older and more mature, or perhaps because the rock scene is less wild, GG's infamous rape and abuse lyrics are left behind. Really, the nastiest the band gets is on "Chicks can't Rock" which while still edgy, but doesn't make one's stomach turn like older songs. Still, perhaps because the band are choosing their words more carefully, the lyrics that remain sound better, roll off the tongue better, and have more layers than before. That might make GG upset, but perhaps the Murder Junkies are saying that they aren't just GG, and that they kinda do their own thing, too.

With their most rehearsed performance to date and lyrics that are edgy, but not outright obscene, the Murder Junkies seem to want to be taken and considered for more than just being shocking. That being said, they still do shock, just not to the point where I question my own morality merely for listening.