Blood on the Dance Floor Retrospective: Hollywood Death Star

This is part of a Retrospective that covers the bands entire discography. You can find the post for the previous album here. There’s also an introduction and disclaimer that you can read here, that I strongly suggest you start out with.

Well… We’re finally here folks. We’ve finally reached the end of Blood on the Dance Floor’s insanely vast and varied discography. We’ve reached the final album that the band ever released, and it’s… Fucking weird.

Now, this won’t be the final post in this Retrospective, as we still have Dahvie’s future projects, Kawaii Monster and The Most Vivid Nightmares, left to cover. But regarding the main band, this is it. We’ve reached the end.

So yeah. Hollywood Death Star is notable for a couple of reasons. As I’ve already said, it’s the final album ever released under the Blood on the Dance Floor name, and it’s also the only album in their discography to feature only Dahvie Vanity as a member of the band. Yes, he did this whole album by himself, with the exception of three tracks, one of which has a featured artist and another two which have Fallon on them because they were previously bonus tracks from the Deluxe Edition’s of two previous albums that were just thrown onto this for… Some fucking reason… But aside from those handful of exceptions, this is basically a Dahvie Vanity solo album. And I know what you’re thinking, but no. It actually doesn’t suck. In fact, it’s one of the bands better albums. It’s not anywhere near close to being their best, but it’s good. I think.

That being said, Hollywood Death Star is fucking weird. It’s really, really difficult to pin down the sound of this album because every song sounds so different. Every track on this varies wildly in production quality, tone, lyrical themes and even which fucking band members are on them. As I said above, there are a few songs with Fallon on them, but in different ways. Two of them being previously released bonus tracks which she was a part of, and another having leftover vocals by her thrown into the background because back when Dahvie released it as a single, he was still trying to pretend she was in the band when she’d actually broken up with him and subsequently left.

Which brings me to my next point regarding this album: How it was produced. Because a big part of why every song on Hollywood Death Star sounds so different is due to how this thing was made in the first place. If you’re familiar with the bands earlier work, you’re also probably familiar with Rusty “Lixx” Wilmot, who I’ve mentioned a handful of times throughout this Retrospective. He was the producer for the band from 2008, starting from It’s Hard To Be a Diamond In a Rhinestone World until Bitchcraft before cutting ties with the band in 2016. Well, it turns out he created a whole bunch of instrumentals for the band, that ended up never being used and were just kind of archived away. So what did Dahvie do? He simply took those instrumentals, wrote some lyrics, and performed on top of them. And I can only assume that these instrumentals were from different time periods of the bands history, which is why they all sound so different. After that, he wrote and recorded a couple of new original songs from scratch, threw a previously released bonus track or two onto the album for good measure, and called it day. And despite how lazy and uninspired that all sounds, it actually works in Hollywood Death Star’s favour for a reason that’s really fucking awesome, even though it’s probably, most definitely, completely unintentional on Dahvie’s part.

This album feels like a grand tour through the bands entire history, which is incredibly fitting given that it’s the final album released in the Blood on the Dance Floor discography. This album has it all. The sexually charged, juvenile nonsense of Let’s Start a Riot, Diamond and Epic. The serious, uplifting, positivity of Evolution. The anger, hatred and spite of Bad Blood. The goofy, cartoonish violence of Kawaii Monster. There’s even a fucking unplugged song on here, reminiscent of the acoustic album they did (that I never covered, whoops) and the slower songs on Anthem of the Outcast. And it’s all neatly tied up with a final farewell at the end.

I dunno. Maybe I’m reading way too much into it. I know for a fact that Dahvie isn’t smart enough to have done this intentionally, but that doesn’t make how I view this album any less valid, does it? Unintentional or not, it’s kind of fucking cool that the album is presented like this. It’s neat. And it makes that farewell a little emotional, in all honesty.

But all of that would be meaningless if the songs themselves weren’t good. And I’m happy to report that, for the most part, the tracks on here are pretty solid. As I said earlier, they vary wildly in the production quality, general sound and lyrical content, but honestly, they’re mostly all great. Yes. Despite the weird way in which this album was thrown together, and despite it being mostly a solo album by Dahvie, it some how manages to all come together and make a record that works. Like I said, it’s arguably one of the bands better releases. And I can’t fucking believe I’m saying that about an album that’s just a bunch of random shit stitched together haphazardly in an attempt to get one more record out before ending the band for good.

Look, Hollywood Death Star is no Bad Blood, Let’s Start a Riot or Scissors. But it’s a damn good album and it works, both thematically and sonically. And I will die on this fucking hill.

But with all that being said… Let’s finally get into the tracks for this one.

Hollywood Death Star kicks things off Curse Like Medusa which is notable for being the only track on the album to feature a guest artist. In fact, this is the first time the band had a guest artist since Bitchcraft. That’s half a fucking decade of music with no guest artists. That’s… Pretty fucking wild, honestly.

Curse Like Medusa is a pretty eerie opener with a creepy instrumental and with pretty decent rapping from Dahvie, with braggadocios lyrics focusing on being cursed by the titular Medusa, who compels you to do evil shit and being… “America’s most wanted”? Jesus Christ Dahvie, you could try to be a little subtle. I know it’s common in hip hop for artists to brag about doing crazy, fucked up shit and being criminals, but Dahvie is actually a criminal. He’s really not helping himself here…

All jokes aside though, this song slaps hard. It’s a pretty unique, eerie and boastful hip hop song, with some fun rhymes, decent rapping and a catchy hook. And it’s made even better with the guest appearance, who honestly steals the show here.

As for who the guest appearance is… It’s Voxout. You might have heard of them before, given their antics on social media. They’re a rap duo from Colorado consisting of PaypaChase and Three6 and are known less for their music and more for the stupid shit they do for social media likes. From drinking entire bottles of mouthwash in one go, to climbing the fence into Area 51 during the infamous raid and subsequently getting arrested by the FBI, the duo have become rather well known. They’re Instagram and TikTok stars. And they also happen to make music that’s a weird blend of aggressive hip hop and electronic music with a clear crunkcore influence.

So yeah, given that they themselves aren’t exactly upstanding citizens, and that their music clearly takes influence from the very scene Dahvie helped popularise, it makes sense they’d be willing to work with him. And that they’re probably one of the only people who’d still be willing to given Dahvie’s awful reputation.

Fuck sake, that was a tangent and a half. But yeah. In all honesty, Voxout kind of steal this track in the second verse, with some incredibly technical and fast rapping that just outshines Dahvie in every way imaginable. Not that it’s hard, but… Y’know.

So yeah. Curse Like Medusa is a really great opening track with awesome production, witty, braggadocios lyrics and a catchy hook. It’s easily one of the strongest openers in the bands discography.

After that excellent opener, we have Best of Me which is a song that’s very reminiscent of the Evolution era of the band, with bright, energetic production and positive, uplifting lyrics about overcoming your inner demons and not letting them get the better of you. I really love the instrumental on this one, with its upbeat energy and chiptune sound, and the lyrics are pretty inspirational and relatable honestly. With lines like “don’t forget your self worth” and “you won’t take control, you won’t get the best of me”, Best of Me is a triumphant song about taking back your own life and changing it for the better. And that’s something I’m sure most of us can relate to in some form.

This is also the track that contains some leftover vocals from Fallon, which are just kind of thrown into the background during the songs final pre-chorus segment. At the time, this was clearly an effort by Dahvie to trick the fans into thinking Fallon was still in the band, back when this song first released as a standalone single, but despite that, they add a nice little touch to the songs final moments. It works, unintentionally. Like this whole album, I guess.

So yeah. Best of Me is great and, as a positive, uplifting, banger, stacks up against the best tracks from Evolution. It’s awesome. And hell, Dahvie’s rapping ain’t half bad on it either.

Next up is Hoping For the Impossible which is a fucking weird track, mostly because of how it was made. The instrumental for this track is very, very clearly the instrumental for Scream For My Ice Cream from the bands third studio album, Epic with the pitch increased, the tempo sped up and some minor editing. But… Come on. Just listen to it. It’s definitely it. It has to be. Or maybe I’m just hearing things? Who knows?

But all that aside, it’s a pretty decent track about lost love and hoping to get it back. The singing is honestly pretty bad, but the vocals themselves are pained and almost heartbreaking, similar to the likes of Fallen Star from the bands debut album. It’s not a song I find myself listening to too often, but it’s not bad, and the instrumental slaps.

Afterwards we move onto Evolve which is probably one of the weaker tracks on the album. At least in terms of lyrics and vocal performances. I’m really not a big fan of either on this one, but the production is pretty awesome, with a wobbly, brostep instrumental that’s reminiscent of the Bad Blood and Bitchcraft days. It’s just a shame the song is super forgettable and uninteresting outside of that. I don’t care for it much.

Then we have My Mind Is on the Edge which is easily one of my favourite tracks on the album. The instrumental is really catchy and energetic, sounding very similar to the eurobeat styled melodies on Diamond, with the lyrics being a lot more dark and depressing than any of the previous tracks, focusing on suicide ideation and wanting to give up. It’s a song I find myself relating to quite a bit, with my depression and anxiety being conveyed perfectly through lines like “There’s a battle, beneath the surface, that keeps dragging me down” and “My mind’s got me stressed out, want to permanently clock out”. Damn, does this song hit hard. It’s easily one of the best on the album, and it’s where Hollywood Death Star starts to move away from the more positive and emotional territory, to a darker and more depressing one.

Sex Rx is next and it’s basically a psychotic, murder-fuelled, dark version of Sexting from Epic. With an instrumental that harkens back to that song and lyrics that are so over the top and edgy, this track is a weird Frankenstein’s monster that combines the best aspects of the sexually charged nonsense of Epic and the cartoonish violence of Kawaii Monster. And it’s pretty catchy and fun. In the goofiest way possible.

After that we have Oh What a Pity! which is basically a “take that” song with an extremely hard-hitting and dark instrumental, with Dahvie rapping boastfully about how he’s better than all of his haters. It’s juvenile and rings really fucking hollow given how he was doing at the time this album came out, and how he’s doing now, but I don’t hate it. It’s a really catchy song. And while Dahvie’s own intentions behind it aren’t realised (because he’s the lowest of the low), I can still relate to the song pretty personally. It’s a track about everyone being against you and painting you as a villain, despite you being the good guy. They’re the real villains. The narcissists. The ego-driven maniacs who think they’re better than everyone else. It’s relevant to me for many, many reasons, so yeah. I like it. And it’s also just kind of a bop that slaps hard. Tune.

Eat You Alive comes next and it’s basically a 2017 remake of Modern World Christ from Let’s Start a Riot that was originally released as part of Let’s Start a Riot: Party Edition but for some reason got chucked on here as well because Dahvie thinks his fanbase are stupid and wouldn’t notice I guess? There’s not much to say about it, really. It’s the same song from the original album, only with a slightly better sounding instrumental and Fallon singing the chorus. Personally, I prefer the original, but this being on here only further drives home that feeling that Hollywood Death Star is a grand tour through the bands entire catalogue. So it works!

Hysteria comes next and honestly, I just really don’t care for this one. It’s super forgettable and is easily the weakest track on the entire album. I wish I had more to say about it, but… I don’t.

After that mediocre track, we have Sweet Like Popsicles which is a super energetic, almost happy hardcore, song with chiptune elements that’s just chock-full of references to sweet treats and popsicles. It kind of feels like another throwback to the bands earlier materials, both in lyrical content and production, and there’s even some distorted screams in the chorus and a shitty rap segment towards the end to tie it all together. It’s not the best song on here, but it’s fun, colourful and kind of goofy. It takes me back to my peak scene years. I can’t hate it.

We’ve got an acoustic version of Best of Me in the form of Best of Me (Unplugged) which is basically what it sounds like. It’s a slower, less triumphant version of the original track from earlier in the album with almost sad vocals and and acoustic instrumental that makes the song feel like it was taken right off of the bands acoustic album, Blood Unplugged. Yes. That exists. No. I didn’t cover it. Because I forgot it existed. Sorry. It’s not like there was much to say anyway, unless you want me to do a deep dive analysis into the acoustic version of fucking Sexting.

Oh. You do? Fuck.

Anyway, yeah. Best of Me (Unplugged) is kind of neat, and it being positioned towards the end of the album, while the original is placed at the beginning, creates a nice, probably unintentional, juxtaposition between the albums earlier tracks and the later ones. Think about it for a second. The album starts off braggadocios and uplifting, before slowly spiralling into heartache, depression, anger and finally just this almost… Defeatist version of an earlier track that was so full of bright, positive energy. Maybe I’m just talking shite, but… That’s how it feels to me.

The penultimate track is Scream Queen, another previously released bonus track featuring Fallon that was chucked on here for some reason and it’s probably the darkest track on the entire album with a really dark instrumental and hateful, revenge driven lyrics. There’s not an awful lot to say about it otherwise, but it’s a nice throwback to the latter half of the Dahvie and Fallon era, that also continues the trend of the album getting less and less triumphant as it goes on.

And then finally, we have the last track, and the final Blood on the Dance Floor song ever recorded: This is the End. Which not only references the infamous line from Dahvie’s side project Master of Death but also really does feel like a final farewell in music form. It’s probably the best produced track on here, with a soft, slow instrumental that gradually builds up as the song progresses, and sad, almost pained vocals that literally just say “goodbye”.

And while it’s a bit of a hollow goodbye, seeing as Dahvie would continue to make music after this, and still does today, that doesn’t make this song any more hard-hitting for me. I just, really love this song. A lot. I love the lyrics and I love how the instrumental starts off slow and subdued and slowly builds up into one final, grand explosion at the end. It’s fantastic. And yes, it got me emotional the first time I heard it.

Look, I fucking hate Dahvie Vanity more than most people. I’ve been actively following this man, his music and his alleged criminal activities for years. I know everything. I’m not blind to who he is or what he’s done. And yes, I want him to go to jail and rot there for the rest of his life because the things he’s done are inhumane and unforgivable.

But none of that changes what his music has done for me. What it meant to me growing up, as a lonely, depressed and confused teenager. What it still means to me as an adult who’s still struggling to get through life sometimes. What it will always mean to me, no matter how much time passes, and how many of Dahvie’s awful crimes will be exposed over time.

Dahvie Vanity is a monster. But the music he made with Blood on the Dance Floor remains some of the most unique, varied, interesting and downright genius shit I’ve ever listened to. There are more talented artists. There are artists who can perform better and write more complex songs. But none of that shit matters to me, because none of that shit sounds like what this stupid scene band did consistently for over 10 years.

So yes. If it wasn’t clear, This is the End is an exceptional track that serves as an emotional send-off for Blood on the Dance Floor and is the perfect ending for both this album and the bands entire catalogue of music.

And with that, that’s it. That’s Hollywood Death Star. And that’s us. That’s a wrap. We’ve finally covered every single mainline Blood on the Dance Floor album. We did it. This is the end. …At least as far as Blood on the Dance Floor releases are concerned.

Hollywood Death Star isn’t the bands best work, but it is an incredibly varied and interesting album that almost serves as a grand tour through the bands incredibly vast and ever-changing discography. You could say it’s like a grand Hollywood tour. …No? That didn’t land? Alright then, well fuck it.

As the final album in the bands discography, it’s the perfect send-off and encapsulates everything good and bad about them and their music. It’s great, and a lot better than even the fans of the band give it credit for. And I’ll die on this hill.

And now, here’s some track ratings for you all:

Track Ratings:

  1. Curse Like Medusa (Feat. Voxout) – 9/10
  2. Best of Me – 10/10
  3. Hoping For The Impossible – 7/10
  4. Evolve – 4/10
  5. My Mind Is on the Edge – 10/10
  6. Sex Rx – 8/10
  7. Oh What a Pity! – 10/10
  8. Eat You Alive – 7/10
  9. Hysteria – 2/10
  10. Sweet Like Popsicles – 9/10
  11. Best of Me (Unplugged) – 9/10
  12. Scream Queen – 8/10
  13. This is the End – 10/10

Best Song(s):

This is the End, Best of Me, My Mind Is on the Edge, Oh What a Pity

Worst Song(s):

Hysteria, Evolve

Would I Recommend It?

Absolutely. As the final Blood on the Dance Floor album, and a record that perfectly encapsulates most of the bands various sound shifts over the years, it’s a must listen in my opinion.

It isn’t their best work, but it’s fucking great. And it’s an underrated gem in a discography that’s full of them.

Give it a listen.

What’s Next?

Well, we’re finished with Blood on the Dance Floor, but the Retrospective continues with Dahvie Vanity’s next project: Kawaii Monster!

Why did he disband Blood on the Dance Floor only to immediately start this up afterwards? Well, we’ll get into that in the next post.

Next time we’ll be tackling the first EP by this project, Poison Love which is… Interesting for a variety of reasons. That’s all I’ll say for now.

But until then, as far as Blood on the Dance Floor goes, we’ve reached the end of our adventure through this bands insanely massive discography. So as This is the End says:

This adventure comes to an end
Thank you my sweetest friends

And thank you to anyone who actually took the time to read these stupid posts about a band no one but me cares about. And thank you to those who still read my god awful blog, despite me disappearing for a ridiculous amount of time and distancing myself from the community.

I love you all. And I’ll see you in the next one.

2 thoughts on “Blood on the Dance Floor Retrospective: Hollywood Death Star

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