Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Songs in the Key of Murder - Album review

We here at Hail Horrors have recently decided to broaden our horizons by reviewing horror-themed music in addition to film and literature. The first such album to horrify our aural senses is Songs in the Key of Murder by rappers MC Randumb and Jewish Dave.

I had some trouble working out which angle to approach this review from as I have never really listened to hardcore rap before and have no real experience with audio production. So basically, I have absolutely no authority to have an opinion of this album (not like that ever stopped Leonard Maltin). However, what I do have is a knack for summarising narrative structure. So, without further ado, I give you:

Hail Horrors, Hail's synopsis of Songs in the Key of Murder

1. Intro

Our protagonist Jewish Dave, frustrated by creative ennui, expresses his desire to "do something else" and asks his collaborator MC Randumb if he has any suggestions. MC Randumb proposes they "murder" establishing himself as a disaffected character, reminiscent of Meursault in Albert Camus' novel The Stranger. Jewish Dave readily agrees, leading the listener to believe that he is as deranged as his accomplice.

2. Murder 4 Fun

In this song, MC Randumb and Jewish Dave explain their motives for the massacre they are about to commit. According to the lyrics they are going to "murder 4[sic] fun", probably to alleviate the vexation they suffered in the introductory track. Their plans are either grandiose or with hyperbole, as they explicitly state they intend murder "everyone in the whole fucking world." They then go on to debate how same-sex necrophilia might define their sexuality, the legitimacy of Christ's crucifixion and art-house film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind by director Michel Gondry.

3. Musta Been Murda

In the song Musta[sic] Been Murda[sic], MC Randumb and Jewish Dave personalise large-scale murder from the previous song, listing the family members and close-relations belonging to the listener that they have recently killed. It is a comprehensive list that extends as far as pets and acquaintances. The pair reveal they have no remorse for the killings they have perpetrated. The listener also becomes aware that their weapon of choice is a glock pistol, making their earlier statement about killing "everyone in the whole fucking world" even more ambitious, despite the authorities' inability to stop them so far. They also kill some hippies, which unless the listener has ties to the environmentalist community, probably will not upset you as much as the deaths of some of their other victims.

4. Murder On My Mind

The prologue to the song explains that MC Randumb and Jewish Dave are perusing a scientific solution to achieve their goal of killing "everyone in the whole fucking world," utilising the misunderstood field of hypnotism. As the song suggests that MC Randumb might be under the effects of mind control after he attacks a doctor's surgery after complaining of illness. He meets Jewish Dave and they continue on their killing spree, experimenting with rape, necrophilia and cannibalism.

5. Shut Your Mouth (Or Your Going to Get Murdered)

MC Randumb and Jewish Dave find themselves in a hostage situation that goes south after a bystander refuses to shut their mouth (and gets murdered).

6. Murder is Reality

MC Randumb and Jewish Dave discuss the nature of reality, perhaps reflecting on their own distorted version of subjective idealism. They reminisce on their career and the success they've had as both murderers and musicians. The artists also rebuke the idea that the listener could possibly murder them.

7. It's Murda

In the song It's Murda [sic], MC Randumb and Jewish Dave seem to have exchanged their glocks for knives, professing the excitement aroused by killing someone with a bladed weapon at night. They give detailed instructions as to the process they are using (They "like to start from the head and work their way down to their privates") and highly recommend that the listeners try it for themselves.

8. We'll Murda Ya!

The eighth track on the album, We'll Murda Ya[sic], lists many of the places that the listener might visit that warrants their murder. MC Randumb and Jewish Dave also murder some people and make some Playstation references.

>9. Murder Motel

MC Randumb and Jewish Dave's latest business venture is a successful five-star motel that they are using as a front for their favourite hobby: murder. This song seems to imply that the musicians are now dabbling with supernatural powers. The chorus claims that any visitor will wake up in hell, so visitors to the Murder Motel should note that they have a very strict check-out time.

10. Bloody Murder

The pair of protagonists begin this track by describing the mess created by murdering (but fail to provide any tips on stain removal). The song takes a turn in the second half, as the MC Randumb and Jewish Dave turn on each other thanks to an argument over who can murder the most people.

11. Murder On The Menu

MC Randumb and Jewish Dave expand their business portfolio by opening a restaurant that specialises in cannibalism. They exhibit a high amount of professionalism, not allowing the argument from the previous song get in the way of delivering quality service.

12. I'll Murder You 2

MC Randumb and Jewish Dave assures everyone listening that they aren't going to excluded anyone listener ("I'll murder you too")

13. Murder Me

I have to take issue with the title of this track. A much more appropriate title would be 'Murder Me?' as the lyrics suggest that the rappers are taken aback by the implication that anyone could possibly murder them. They reply indignantly by insisting "I'mma murder you."

14. The Murder Bros.

In the heart-warming climax of the album, MC Randumb and Jewish Dave patch up their turbulent relationship, reaffirming their "brotherhood". They return to their original mission of murdering everyone else, promising to murder each other only when there is no one left

15. Outro

In the dénouement, the possibility of a sequel is left open, but does not bring the current narrative to a cathartic conclusion.

In conclusion, the narrative arc of Songs in the Key of Murder is problematic and fragmented. There is little continuity between songs, leaving the audience to draw their own interpretations. What the album does have is some great homages to retro horror films, pop culture references and a very twisted sense of humour. I enjoyed listening to it, and suggest you check it out yourselves.


There is also a companion Flash game at Kongrgate


  1. the only song review i fully undertood was #5...shut your mouth
    jewish dave's mom

  2. great review. thanks.
    this album appears as the most successful and most adventurous.

  3. I appreciate you writing this write-up and also the rest of the site is really good