Drop Dead, Gorgeous – Worse Than A Fairy Tale
Release Date: August 14, 2007
Record Label: Suretone/Rise
I’m a sucker for concept albums, not gonna lie. I enjoy albums with a fluid storyline and use songs to explain a story. Concept albums were the hottest trend around 2004 and 2005 in the scene, but since then the quantity of such albums have decreased. Obviously, though, Drop Dead, Gorgeous did not get that memo. Their second album, and Suretone Records debut, Worse Than A Fairy Tale, tells of Saylor Lake, Colorado, where a killer sadistically killed 12 villagers between October 27th 1978 to September 7th , 1979. Produced by maestro Ross Robinson, Fairy Tale explores the mind of a psychopath and hysteria of a small town through 12 blistering tracks.
Lyrically, the album isn’t anything groundbreaking, but it’s not overly cliché. “Red Or White Win?” kicks off with Danny Stillman frantically saying “Nothing’s the same/fading away/you’ve been warned/you’ve been warned/for the last time.” Although his vocals can become grating on your ears at time, Stills and others do a great job of capturing the panic and insanity of the story.
The album’s strongest part, though, is the music. Unrelenting throughout, the majority of songs are composed without structure and full of chaos, perfectly complementing the mood of the entire idea of the album. It was produced masterfully by Robinson, whom has brought out the best in Drop Dead, Gorgeous. “Drawing The Devil” features guitars buzz-sawing their way through, while “They’ll Never Get Me (Word With You)” is a snapshot of the killer’s mind. Pummeling drums with intertwining guitar riffs followed by a duel between the piano and guitars in the breakdown make this track one of my favorites.
“It Sounded Like An Accident” hits harder than a punch in the face, while “Donner, Party Of Five” balances between quiet and loud, with Stillman’s vocals barely clinging on. The highlight of the album comes with the six and a half minute finale, “I Want To Master Life And Death,” which concludes the killer’s story as Stillman snaps and screams “You won’t find her body in time!” This may be the best track DDG have ever wrote, as it switches up vibes, styles, and intensity throughout, combining everything that is good about this band into one track.
So to be honest, I disliked Drop Dead, Gorgeous’ debut album In Vogue. From the album titles to the lyrics, it was just too much for me. Regardless, when I received Worse Than A Fairy Tale, I gave it a listen, and much to my surprised, I enjoyed it greatly. The flaws are there throughout the album, some lyrics are cheesy, the vocals can get on nerves, and some of the songs start to blend. We’ll put it this way: it’s not going to change the world, but it may change your initial opinion of the band. Listening Worse Than A Fairy Tale is like drinking a soda with every meal: you know there’s better out there, but you just can’t stop. And I’ll be damned if I don’t enjoy every second of it.
I enjoyed the review tremendously. Upon my initial spin of the album, my own thoughts and opinions echoed yours. It's very much the musical equivalent of a mindless summer blockbuster movie. The popcorn flick isn't particularly deep, subtle or moving; however the film is intense, pulsating and neckbreakingly fast and fun.
Good review, Drew. Their first album was too much of an Underoath rip off to be enjoyable. It was good to hear that they've improved a lot with this album. I liked the few (real) screamo moments on here as well. It's still nothing special or great, but overall much more memorable than their first.
For some reason this is a cd I've been really looking forward to and I have to agree with a lot fo people on here that there is a certain mindset you need to be in to enjoy this album. It's not one you just pop in whenever, it's an album that has a lot of things going on and when you're in the mood it's really fun to listen. A few typos in your review, but still a good read. Thanks!