It's been over a year and a half since Children of Bodom's Hate Crew Deathroll album, and all the band has to show for themselves at this time is this new Trashed, Lost & Strung Out, a four song EP containing two new original tunes plus two cover songs. While this is probably just meant to hold fans over till the next full-length studio album, most will no doubt be clamoring for more after spinning this barely 15-minute EP a few times.
The two original songs, "Trashed, Lost & Strung Out", and "Knuckleduster", are both roaring metal barn-burners, littered with lightning guitar licks, chunky riffs, and intricate keyboard work. The title track contains some complex early-Slayer type guitar riffs, symphonic synth leads, and a rampaging rhythm section. As always, lead guitarist Alexi Laiho's virtuoso guitar work steals the show, and his aggressive death/black metal vocals provides the extreme edge to the symphonic prog/power metal arrangements. "Knuckleduster" is a brutally heavy cut, with thick and crushing riffs that pound against the orchestral synth tones while Laiho spews his blood curdling yet catchy vocal passages. Did I say catchy and blood curdling in the same sentence? Yes! That's one thing that COB manage to do so well, in the same way that bands like In Flames and Soilwork also manage to accomplish, is to create extreme forms of metal that is symphonic and melodic as well as brutal and aggressive. At just over three minutes long, this is a churning metal classic that is over way too quickly.
A cover of Alice Cooper's "Bed of Nails" follows, and the band does a good job here. Laiho and new guitarist Rope Ukk Latvala lay down some thick walls of guitar crunch, with Laiho's screaming pinch harmonic's blasting through the mix. Also of note is the great keyboard solo from Janne Jameson Warman, who also is an intergral part of the COB sound. The last track is a bit of a letdown-I mean, why cover any song by Andrew W.K., let alone "She is Beautiful"? For what it's worth, COB manages to outdo the original, but still...Enough said.
So, for the two original songs, this is probably worth having for the rabid fan, but the casual fan might want to wait for a future release that perhaps might also include these as bonus tracks. There's also a couple of enhanced video's that add to the enticement level if you are somewhat on the fence. Let's hope the band has a new studio album planned for 2005.
1) Trashed, Lost & Strung Out (4:02)
2) Knuckleduster (3:29)
3) Bed of Nails (3:56)
4) She is Beautiful (3:28)
Bonus Enhanced Videos
Trashed, Lost & Strung Out-music video
Trashed & Lost in Helsinki (video footage of COB's night out!)