Austrian Death Machine - Jingle All the Way
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Would you believe that Austrian Death Machine still has life in it? Since most joke bands tend to run their course after one album, you may consider it a Christmas miracle that solo project of As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis is still entertaining. Austrian Death Machine has now released two albums and two EPs paying tribute to Hollywood's icon of machismo, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Having been dormant for over two years, the project has been resurrected for its second holiday EP (the first being 2008's A Very Brutal Christmas), Jingle All the Way, a 7"/digital EP dedicated to the Schwarzenegger-starring holiday classic of the same name. For a three song EP, the music is surprisingly diverse. In about eight minutes, Lambesis runs the gamut of heavy music, from hardcore/punk to death metal, with a little help from his brutal friend, Ahhnold (impersonated by Chad Ackerman and Josh Robert Thompson), along with some talented musicians.
The record opens with "I'm Not a Pervert," as Ahhnold yells the song's title before the shredding guitars and pulsating drums kick in. The thrashy metalcore number is not far removed from the work of As I Lay Dying and features a solo by metal producer Jason Suecof and Daath's Eyal Levi. It ends with a breakdown that's perfect for moshing your way through the holiday crowds at the mall. The lyrics recount Ahhnold's pursuit of the coveted Turbo Man doll as the journey unwittingly leads him to face off with a child, much to the onlooking mothers' chagrin.
"It's Turbo Time" is more hardcore-oriented than Austrian Death Machine's typically metal repertoire. Its fast-paced, snare-driven punk beat will make ol' Saint Nick join in the circle pit. The song nearly ends prematurely, but thankfully Ahhnold is there to save the day. He chimes in with "What the hell's the matter with you? You totally forgot the guitar solo, you idiot! Play it! Play it now!" His demands are met by Mercury Switch's Mark MacDonald, who delivers a face melter.
"Who Told You You Could Eat My Cookies?," which originally appeared on Double Brutal, is perfect for releasing the frustrations of walking in on your neighbor munching your wife's sweets. With deep, guttural growls ("If you're going to sound like Cookie Monster, then we might as well write a song about cookies!" remarks Ahhnold), blastbeats, and heavy, chugging riffs that would make The Acacia Strain jealous, it's essentially a deathcore song. Its the sweeping guitar solo by MacDonald that sets it apart from the otherwise dull subgenre.
If your loved one asks for the elusive Turbo Man action figure this holiday season, call them a puny wimp for playing with dolls and stuff their stocking with Austrian Death Machine's Jingle All the Way instead. There's something magical about it. Perhaps it's the holiday spirit. Maybe it's nostalgia, as the film was a childhood favorite of mine. More likely, it's simply the fact that these tracks are better than they have any right to be. Even after the gimmick wears itself thin, the songs themselves are enjoyable. Lambesis lives up to Turbo Man's catch phrase of "You can always count on me." The only downside? No love for Sinbad's character.