The first time I heard Lordi was when everyone else did. It was 2006, they had just won Eurovision (never seen it; don’t care) and their third full-length, The Arockalypse, hit the streets. I was driving down the 101 in Phoenix, having just purchased it on CD. It was early April, already hot as hell, and I didn’t have AC in my forest-green Geo Tracker. For my horrible mood, my sweat-soaked Yanks cap, and the t-shirt glued to the seat, I was, surprisingly, having a good time. Being a Gwar fan, the rubber costumes never bothered me. Neither did the pervy lyrics, the need for catchiness, or the fact that the band’s gimmick impacts every song. But Lordi ain’t Gwar—the former achieving their sound with a Rob Zombie-meets-hair metal approach. Lordi aren’t a band I’d go out of my way for, by any means. And, honestly, I lost interest after 2008’s Deadache.1 But, with eight LPs under their belt, I know that many people love them. It’s now 2018 and my Geo Tracker is long gone, but Lordi ain’t. Once was eight is now nine with Sexorcism. And, like their entire discography, this one’s got no surprises and no twists. Which, I suppose, is good news for all those longtime fans.
If you don’t know Lordi, I’m not sure you want to. But, if you want to, the band’s core is best understood via debut record Get Heavy and The Arockalypse. Both are fun, both are catchy, and both are brainless fun. Since the 2002 debut, the band has only gotten goofier, heavier, and more perverted. And, in the case of albums like Scare Force One and Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy), a touch darker. OK, not a lot darker, but definitely heavier and pervier. There was once the innocent “Would You Love a Monsterman?” and now there’s the nasty “Hug You Hardcore.” There was the straightforward “This Is Heavy Metal” and now there’s the industrial-tinged “The Riff.” There were happy-go-lucky melodic ditties like “The Children of the Night” and “Monsters Keep Me Company,” but now there’s the dark “Mary Is Dead.” Lordi has rocked hard in the last sixteen years—adding an element or two to each album as they go. Now, let’s see what kind of climax Sexorcism will bring. So, take my hand and cum along.
Cum on, I couldn’t resist. It’s not my fault.2 Look at that fucking album cover. It’s begging for it. Not to mention the mood is further set with song titles like “Rimskin Assassin” and “The Beast Is yet to Cum.” Yeah… ’tis dirty. Maybe the band’s dirtiest to date. And it’s always made that much nastier with Mr. Lordi’s gravelly voice. Not only does this filthy duo share filthy content, these two songs also sport the biggest choruses on the album. Which is just like Lordi to create anthemic choruses for crowds to sing at the top of their lungs. Choruses about heaving, throbbing beasts and poop jobs. As far as sexiness goes, opener “Sexorcism” and “Naked in My Cellar” fit the bill. While the opener is a stronger track than “Naked in My Cellar,” both take the band’s classic qualities and douse them in synths, eerie soundclips, and stuck-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth choruses. Other tracks have the Lordi stamp of approval are “Hot Satanned” and closer “Haunting Season.” The latter is proof that all you need is some AC/DC and hair-metal arrangements to be catchy. Even if it isn’t the greatest song in the world.
As expected, there are moments of key-soaked atmospheres (“Your Tongue’s Got the Cat” and “The Beast Is yet to Cum”), key-driven grooves (“Sexorcism” and “Sodomesticated Animal”), beefy chops (“Romeo Ate Juliet” and “Hell Has Room”), and melodic ditties (“Polterchrist” and “Slashion Model Girls”) spread eagle across the album. The two melodic pieces are typical for the band, providing a touch of darkness and added conviction to this disc of absurdity. But the top songs are “Romeo Ate Juliet” and “Sodomesticated Animal.” If nothing else than for their conciseness and hopelessly-addictive choruses. Every Lordi record has that one song I could listen to over and over again for months on end and Sexorcism‘s is “Romeo Ate Juliet.”
As far as Lordi albums stand, Sexorcism is more in line with The Arockalypse and Babez for Breakfast, but with the modernity of Scare Force One and Monstereophonic. Yet, Sexorcism lacks the nonstop entertainment of The Arockalypse and has less heaviness and variety than Monstereophonic. That said, it’s better than Deadache and To Beast or Not to Beast. Which means, it sits somewhere between. Which ain’t bad for fans and newbies alike. Toss in a decent production, some of the raunchiest lyrics the band has ever penned, and twelve songs to enjoy during a drive through the summer heat. Sexorcism ain’t the band’s worst and it ain’t the band’s best, but it does help remind you that Halloween is right around the corner.