W.A.S.P.: ‘Kill Fuck Die’

Released on April 29, 1997 (Castle Records)

Review by Olivier:
Almost every band that has been around for decades has this. One dud album. It doesn’t mean that it’s a terrible album but simply a dud among the rest of the group’s discography. Metallica‘s dud is 2003’s St. Anger. Alice Cooper has had quite a few duds but likely fell to rock bottom with 1983’s Dada, which he apparently doesn’t remember due to being constantly intoxicated during that time period. KISS‘ dud has to be 1981’s Music From The Elder, which was so bad that Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley did absolutely zero touring behind the album. Dokken‘s dud album is 1997’s Shadowlife which appears to have been more of a George Lynch solo effort than a Dokken record. I could go on and on but you get the point.

Today is the 20th year anniversary of W.A.S.P.‘s dud album Kill Fuck Die also known as K.F.D. It’s the W.A.S.P. album that caused me to turn my back on the group for almost ten years. In terms of W.A.S.P.’s discography, not many can state to be at the same level quality wise for their first five releases. The standard of excellence that W.A.S.P. set with their self-titled debut album, 1985’s The Last Command, 1986’s Inside The Electric Circus, 1989’s The Headless Children and 1992’s The Crimson Idol cannot be matched by most ’80s bands out there. Still Not Black Enough was alright but definitely not in the league of those first five albums. What came next in the form of Kill Fuck Die was simply awful. It was an awful album when I first heard it 20 years ago and it still is a terrible album as I am listening to it today.

Why is Kill Fuck Die such a dud of an album? First of all, Blackie Lawless decided to go “industrial” changing W.A.S.P.‘s trademark sound in the process. Not even the return of guitarist Chris Holmes could save the album from mediocrity. Second of all, W.A.S.P. decided to forego melodies for what can only be qualified as noise. Third of all, and this is more a personal reason, Kill Fuck Die was so bad that I literally stopped following W.A.S.P. for ten years or so. The one saving grace for Kill Fuck Die is that Lawless‘ singing sounds quite good and clear, and way clearer than on the band’s recent efforts. Funny enough, what brought me to think that Kill Fuck Die might not be that bad after all was listening to W.A.S.P.‘s Double Live Assassins (1998), many years later and which happens to be one of my favorite live albums. That record shockingly included five tracks — “Killahead,” “U,” “Kill Your Pretty Face,” “The Horror” and “Little Death” — from Kill Fuck Die and I always thought that they surprisingly did not feel out of place on the record. Granted, the weakest part of Double Live Assassins is the last six tracks on the first disc, which feature four tracks from Kill Fuck Die.

After listening to Kill Fuck Die again for the first time in over 15 years, there is only one track — “Killahead” — that I truly find decent. The rest fall in some of the worst songs ever written by W.A.S.P. and although I think that many of the tracks could be salvaged by getting rid of that awful “industrial” overall sound and there are some alright moments here and there, the fact is the album has yet to be re-recorded and “saved” up to this point. Sadly, Kill Fuck Die is W.A.S.P.‘s dud album and the one true blip on an otherwise mostly stellar discography.

Review by James:
Kill Fuck Die… What an uplifting title. I’ve heard another title bounced around for this album was “You Cum Bubble on a Fags Ass.” Well, not really but hey, with a title this extreme, a little levity is needed.

Blackie Lawless is a freaking God. Some metal bands have lead singers that claim they are what they are for this reason or that reason and how emotionally damaged they are… Boo fucking hoo! Blackie is just pure metal to the bone. And a lot of songs on this album really drive home his ability to take pure noise and make it melodic.

Kill Fuck Die is not a bad album. But it is different from what Blackie and W.A.S.P. have done in the past. For example, this recording perhaps follows the trend set by White Zombie and Rob Zombie with way too much computer effects in metal. The first thing you hear when this album is put in is a very computer sounding thing that may or may not be a guitar tuned differently… It still has a driving beat as does most W.A.S.P. material but it just has a different feel.

The hooks and the trademark Blackie vocals, however, are still there under the computer sound. And songs like “Kill Fuck Die” “Little Death,” “Wicked Love,” and “U” takes what sounds like complete noise and somehow transfers that noise into something melodic.

Is this album my favorite W.A.S.P. album? No. But, I entered the album with an open mind and was surprised to find I liked some of the songs despite it being a very different sound than what most expect of W.A.S.P. I’m glad they did not stick with the overdone computer sound but I am also glad I got to hear Blackie‘s voice in a different style. It’s good… Not the greatest thing ever, but good. If you can find it, and finding it may be difficult because it is out of print, you might want to buy it just to hear a very different W.A.S.P. – that while very different, stays true to the driving metal that makes them what they are.

Track List:
01. Kill.Fuck.Die.
02. Take The Addiction
03. My Tortured Eyes
04. Killahead
05. Kill Your Pretty Face
06. Fetus
07. Little Death
08. U
09. Wicked Love
10. The Horror

Band Members:
Blackie Lawless – vocals, guitars
Chris Holmes – guitars
Mike Duda – bass
Stet Howland – drums

Produced by Blackie Lawless
Engineered and mixed by Mikey Davis

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by James (May 2006) and Olivier (April 29, 2017) for Sleaze Roxx.

W.A.S.P.‘s K.F.D. EPK:

W.A.S.P.-Kill Fuck Die E.P.K. (1997)

In 1997, Raw Power released a promo video cassette (Electronic Press Kit) in support of the new album, it’s a very rare thing. I hope all the fans W.A.S.P. w…