Album Review: Murder City Outlaws- People Are the Worst

mco2Buffalo’s punk/thrash/metal “fuck what you think” 3-piece, Murder City Outlaws, are back with their 3rd album, People Are the Worst. Now taking to the live stage with bassist, Mike Zamerski (GAWD- Greatness and World Domination), this rejuvenated band has made another bold musical statement, wrapped neatly in this no holds barred, 8 track masterpiece.

If you’ve seen the band live in the last couple years, odds are you’ve heard the beginning of track 1, “Panic Mode” as their live intro. Basically, the guys thought they’d be cute and throw the mob chant, “Let’s go, M.C.O.!” over the classic theme from the 1966 film, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. However, in the studio recording, the intro flows seamlessly into an all original instrumental section of textbook thrash/punk with quick drums and punchy chords for the remaining minute and a half.

Track 2, “M.C.O.”, is the band’s anthem and again, if you’ve seen the band live recently, you’re more than familiar with it. In this tune, you’ll hear classic lines like, “We’ll drink your beer and smoke all your weed,” topped off with an ultra fitting sample from the film, Dazed and Confused. “I may have said something about someone smoking some pot. It’s just an observation…”

Track 3 is the title track, “People Are the Worst”, kicking off with a random line from the 1994 film, Clifford, and then blasting right into more aggressive thrash punk beats, riffs and vocals. This song actually contains one of my favorite musical moments within this band. There’s a transitional section with some cool palm muting, hangs and a sweet pause that cues the thrashing intensity back in a few times. Righteous.

Track 4, “Black Friday” is my personal favorite. The lyrics hit home, given my 15 years in retail and having dealt with the craziest bargain hunters this side of the nuthouse. There are awesome harsh vocals in this song too that creep in under Kenny Kozacki’s usual yells. This could be Zamerski giving his classic GAWD sound to the already punishing vocals on this album, but I’m not 100%.

Track 5, “88” is a killer homage to Back to the Future. Things start off with a sample from the Twin Pines Mall scene, where Doc Brown freaks out because the Libyans have found him after he’s stolen their plutonium. From there, it’s an all out punk rock, fist pumping fest with more awesome harsh vocals in the lower register. I’ll never see that Libyan scene the same way again after having heard this song.

Track 6, “Social Disaster” has a cool military drum style intro on the snare, followed by a classic underground punk song clocking in at just under a minute and a half. In fact, the longest song on this album is the intro (3:31). Needless to say, M.C.O. are no strangers to “cutting the fat” and getting right to the point of their music.

Track 7, “Jury Duty” is another short and sweet heavy hitter. There are more really cool mutes and pauses in the riffing in this one that really stand out, but the icing on the cake is a sample from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I think it’s the court scene with the girl on the stand calling down to Johnny Depp. She’s talking about someone taking her to a hotel and giving her LSD or something.

Finally, we come to the epic conclusion- track 8, “Let’s Get Drunk”. The main lyrical theme of this one is, “This world is coming to an end”, which let’s face it, it probably is. There’s also a special surprise at the end of this track, but I’ll let you buy the album to hear it, rather than talk more about it.

If you’re looking for in depth technical metal with intricate layering, masterful guitar solos, godly bass sweeps, insane blast beats with skyrocketing double bass and the sickest harsh and clean vocals you’ve ever heard, this IS NOT the album for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a good time, enjoy classic punk and thrash (Municipal Waste, Crucial Unit, Toxic Narcotic, Death Angel, Overkill, ’83 Metallica, etc.) and have watched/enjoy your fair share of cult classic films, this is the EXACT album for you.

Check out Murder City Outlaws and buy their album, People Are the Worst, here. Or, you could just go to a show. That’d be the polite thing to do.

M.C.O. are:

Kenny- Vocals/Guitar

Mike- Bass/Vocals

Brian- Drums

 

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