New Graveyard Calling Cassette-Double-Feature Nightcrawler & Daniel Deluxe + Free Compilation

New Graveyard Calling Cassette-Double-Feature

gyc1Graveyard Calling have announced another great new cassette double-feature, this time it has a full on 80s-Horror-VHS feel with 2 awesome synthwave EPs that perfectly capture the electronic, retro soundtrack feel.

Limited run of 50 of each available, preorder available now, release date: April 14th.

Also they have a free compilation out- Fresh from the Morgue Vol: 2 featuring no less than 34 tracks of spooky punk, electronic and more, scroll down for the link!

And finally prices have been dropped on all previous releases and merch so now could be a good time to fill any gaps in your collection 🙂

gycssGYC029 Nightcrawler – Strange Shadows

“a heavily atmospheric and is a vast exploration of darker sounds.. a haunted gem.” – newretrowave.com

“If I’m going to make a thriller or some film set in a ghastly horrorscape where the only redeemable characters are dead before the opening credits finish, I’m going to rely at least in part on the themes from Nightcrawler’s Strange Shadows EP for the soundtrack.” – vehlinggo.com

Strange Shadows- the latest EP from Nightcrawler, is a sonic tale of terror full of dark atmospheres. Inspired by the Italian Giallo & Horror cinema of the 80s. it contains 5 original tracks plus 4 remixes from Umberto, Alessandro Parisi, OGRE and Profondo Delle Tenebre.

LINK – Preorder Nightcrawler Music – Strange Shadows for instant download of “Una Notte Violenta”

gycnsGYC030 Daniel Deluxe – Night Stalker

Copenhagen-based synthwave artist Daniel Deluxe brings you dark, synth tales of horror! Be prepared for sounds of creatures that stalk the night, demons and monsters!

LINK – Preorder Daniel Deluxe – Night Stalker for instant download of “Exorcism”

 

 

Fresh from the Morgue Vol:2 – Another fiendish mix of monster choruses, ghoulish beats, serial-killer soundtracks and graveyard treats!

LINK – Click here for the free download!

 

gycmorgue

 

www.graveyardcalling.co.uk 

Calabrese “Lust for Sacrilege” album review & interview

CALABRESE-Lust-For-Sacrilege-UK-Tour-2015-AD-MAT-With-DatesCalabrese “Lust for Sacrilege” album review & interview

Phoenix, Arizona’s Calabrese have been making horror-themed rock and roll for over a decade now. They released the Midnight Spookshow EP in 2003 and have since released six full length albums. In the early years, the band had a slew of fun horror punk songs on each album. The last few years, they’ve still got those but the band’s tone has gotten a bit darker, a bit more serious. Most bands probably couldn’t pull this off. Calabrese, however, have done a great job of it and keeps you interested every step of the way. If Born With a Scorpion’s Touch grabbed you, Lust for Sacrilege will blow you away.

The album starts off with “The Dark is Who I Am”. It’s a brooding intro that would make Type O Negative jealous. Later in the album, they bring that Type O vibe back on the title track. For “Lust for Sacrilege”, lyrically, it feels very “Christian Woman”. Musically, it feels 100% Calabrese. I’d have to say, even those who aren’t Type O fans should be feeling these songs.

There are definitely songs that have that classic Calabrese sound. “Down in Misery”, “Teenage Crimewave” and “Lords of the Wasteland” are proof they haven’t forgotten where they came from. The songs are never boring or feeling like I’ve heard it for five albums already. The guys just keep on kicking out greatness.

“Flesh and Blood” is a song that really sticks out. It’s in the same vain as “I Wanna Be a Vigilante” and “There is an Evil Inside” from Born with a Scorpion’s Touch. It’s slower. It’s broodier. It’s deeper. Much like the first time I heard “Evil Inside”, the song was instantly stuck in my head for days. This is the kind of song I fear might push longtime fans away but I hope will elevate them to the next level like it should. It’s not a change for the sake of trying to do things differently. It’s just a truly great song.

There are two things I noticed about “Wanted Man” and “Serpentflame”. Oddly, I get the same thing from both of these songs and they’re back to back on the album. The first thing isn’t so weird; it’s that they both have a heavy Danzig II vibe in the main riff. The second thing is the odd one. The choruses of both songs have a sort of Nirvana chord progression. It makes for an interesting listen but both songs still feel like Calabrese the whole time and neither of the things I mentioned are in any way meant to diminish how good both of these songs are.

Calabrese lets more of their old school, hardcore punk influence out in “Gimme War”. Lots of fast guitars, “woah” choruses and a Misfits-style solo are all included. This one really gets the blood flowing. It also keeps you feeling like Calabrese haven’t strayed from their roots. It also sets up the super-brooding “New York Ripper” perfectly.

They close the album with the biggest departure from anything they’ve done that I can think of. “Drift into Dust” is an acoustic track with an intro guitar sounding very much like that of the one on Danzig 5’s “Come to Silver”. The Danzig influence is all over this one and it definitely breaks any idea of how you think Calabrese will end an album. It’s a slightly odd ending, but it feels right for them to have gone this route.

My overall assessment of this album is that it’s sure to be a top contender for best rock album of 2015. It’s hard to pick a favorite Calabrese album but this one doesn’t disappoint in the least. It’s not as much horror-oriented as maybe just a really dark album, but it makes for great listening.

Lust for Sacrilege score:
9 out of 10

Bobby Calabrese rocking his face off

Bobby Calabrese rocking his face off

Now, onto my interview with Jimmy, Bobby and Davey Calabrese. Keep in mind the vibe here is all in good fun and these are good guys. There were even moments where they stopped and talked with fans who came up to say hi. Calabrese make a point to get to know their fans and let them in on their own stuff, as well. While we were wrapping things up, a fan even brought them a pizza because, if you follow these dudes on Twitter or Facebook, you know they love pizza.

Calabrese @ The Crazy Horse – Boise, Idaho, USA (Jan 29, 2015)

C- You’ve only been on this tour a couple weeks now but how has it been so far?

B- It’s been cool.
D- Successful.
B- Very successful.
J- Worst tour ever. (laughing)

C- Are you hitting more cities that you haven’t been to much and seeing more people coming to the shows, in general?

J- Yeah. Hitting a lot of North Carolina. We haven’t been there. And like, here, in Boise. It’s the second time. Last night, Spokane for the second time. So, yeah, and a lot of new faces, new people who heard about us from just two albums ago, Born with a Scorpion’s Touch. So, that’s pretty cool. They don’t know the back catalog. But, yeah, new people, new fans so the plan’s working.

C- What’s the toughest thing for you guys about being on the road promoting a record?

D- Driving. I don’t do any of it. (laughing)
B- Lack of sleep. That sucks.
J- Yeah, ditto on the sleep. That’s the worse part. If there’s not enough sleep, that kind of sucks but everything else is cool.
B- Just drink beer, you’ll be fine.

C- Did you guys play in other bands before Calabrese?

B- Not really. Nothing serious.
J- Yeah, but nothing really mentionable.
D- No.

C- I’ve followed you guys for about 10 years, since 13 Halloweens. What really grabbed me about it was that in a sea of horror bands that either sounded like old Misfits or new Misfits, you had your own sound. Was that the goal when you started the band?

B- Yeah, probably. Although, I mean we were influenced by The Misfits and all that stuff but they weren’t the end-all, be-all. There were so many other influences at the time. Maybe it helped with two vocalists. Maybe that helped mix it up. Instead of one guy trying to act like Danzig, there’s two. (laughing)
J- Yeah, I think that’s the key. All the different influences. Maybe all those other bands were just trying to be The Misfits and we were trying to be all these different kinds of bands.
B- Yeah, we were way into surf rock. You could hear a lot of that, probably. Man or Astro-Man… there was a lot of different stuff we were listening to back then, so I don’t know. (laughing) Weird.

Calabrese intro backdrop

Calabrese intro backdrop

C- I’ve found most horror rock fans are into the fun stuff like The Misfits, the serious stuff like Danzig and a lot in between. There’s a lot they listen to. But… it’s also general human nature to hate it any time a band changes things up. On Born with a Scorpion’s Touch, the feeling was a lot deeper than previous albums. That continued on Lust for Sacrilege. Were you worried that fans might not like it or did you figure it’s just where you need to go with it? I mean, it’s not a complete departure. It still sounds like Calabrese but it’s a lot more mature than the first four albums.

B- I think with some of the songs it was like, “this might be kind of weird,” but it’s not one of those things where we purposely went in and said we were gonna change it and screw with everyone’s minds. It was just the way it came out. And you know, that’s all we shit out, that’s all you get, you know?
D- Haters gonna hate. And no matter what you do, there’s always gonna be someone hating it.

C- I can definitely say, I’ve read quite a few reviews and I haven’t read anything bad about the new album.

B- (laughing) It only took five albums.
J- For Scorpion’s Touch, when the sound started to change, or mature, I think once we had it, I was a little nervous for the core fans because even with They Call Us Death, there were some people. But, I guess with They Call Us Death, it was harder and some people didn’t get it but they still liked it. Even though we were kind of worried about it, in the grand scheme of things, it seems like our fans are pretty much accepting of stuff. It was like, we had no choice. That was the music that was coming out so that’s how we were gonna go.

C- As far as the new album goes, I hear a lot of influences in there while keeping the Calabrese sound. I hear some Type O Negative in the opening track, some Danzig (especially Danzig II) and even a few chord progressions that are reminiscent of Nirvana to me (I get some woah’s from the guys on that one. Don’t think that was an influence, just something I got a few places) . What bands were the biggest influences while writing this record.

B- Nirvana baby! No… Obviously Type O, like you said, and Danzig. A lot of metal. We were listening to a lot of metal, like Mastadon. What else?
J- Black Sabbath. We were listening to a lot of that for like the piano parts. Believe it or not there’s like a piano, Goblin-esque kind of riff in one of the Black Sabbath songs. But, we’re letting a lot of the metal influence come through and like the darker stuff. We’ve done all the straight up punk stuff so new we’re just kind of exploring the other kinds of music we all liked. That’s the thing, too, we all still have the same influences. There are core ones we can all agree on and that’s the kind of stuff that comes through.
D- I got something to say, you guys keep taking this up… (laughing) Chris Issak… they’ve got the hard bands in there, but there’s some Chris Isaak and Roy Orbison. Some Joy Division in there. Some of that stuff, too.

Calabrese singalong

Calabrese singalong

C- On social media, it looks like you guys get home from a tour and just immediately start writing music and recording. What is it that you guys actually do? Do you relax a bit or take time apart?

J- Yes. At least a week, we stay away from each other.
D- We love to make music videos and give the fans a visual. We’re always working.

C- You guys have gone from being a local Arizona band to what many consider one of the premier horror rock bands in the U.S., maybe even the world (they’re laughing at the thought of this but I think it’s true)… and it seems you’ve done it all yourselves. Obviously, the music has a lot to do with it but it takes more than that for people to actually take time to pay attention and listen. What do you attribute to the getting the following you have?

B- Longevity! I don’t know, last band standing. (laughing) We’re the last ones, so we win by default. (laughing)
D- A lot of bands have fell baby!. (laughing)
B- We stayed the longest, we win the game. (more laughing)
J- I think the internet revolution really helped us out and the fact that we have a lot in common with our fans. We try to treat fans as friends. I remember some of our first shows in a place called The Fix in Phoenix, I was talking to the owner/promoter and he was telling a younger band like, “see what Calabrese does? After the show, they go out and shake hands, give everybody hugs? That’s what you guys’ve gotta do.” Because the kid was complaining about like ‘why don’t we have a following yet?’ So, that’s just something that, I guess, just being young kids at bars and people are always like drunk and like touchy-feely. It’s like, ‘oh that’s cool’ and we’ll hug back and pretend we’re drunk and everyone’s our best friend and it seems to work. They become our friends. Those seem to be the most dedicated fans… the ones that get to know us and we get to know them. It’s like we have like a cult following going on.

C- You guys are really active on social media. You actually follow people back and talk with the fans on Twitter. Do you think this has helped keep people feeling like they need to keep up with what you’re doing and going to shows when you come to their town?

B- Yeah, probably, maybe. It kind of seems like when you become friends with everybody, if they don’t come to your shows then they feel like they let their friend down or something. I don’t know. We’ve only done it one way so if we did it the other way, I’m not sure it would work. I just don’t know.
J- Yeah, it’s just what we do.

C- You toured the UK a couple years back. How many times have you been and how was the experience?

J- Actually, we haven’t been to the UK, yet. Just Germany. We were close, but just Germany.

(this is where everyone judges me thinking that I think Germany is in the UK, I swear, I thought they went to the UK though and not Germany)

D- This is our first headlining tour in the UK coming up. Headlining… emphasis. (laughing) So, it’ll be great.
J- We’re super stoked.
D- We’ve been hearing they’re selling a lot of tickets so it’ll be good to get out there.

Calabrese singing

Calabrese singing

C- What can people expect to see on this tour?

B- Music… live music and entertainment. (laughing) Just a live, loud, fast show. A lot of the new songs. A lot of the old songs. Just blistering rock and roll.

C- Since this interview is for UK Horror Scene, let’s talk horror. What are some horror movies that get you ready to write new material?

D- I like comedies. (laughing) Any kind of comedy. Horror comedy, this and that… whatever…
B- You know, there’s so much Hammer horror. There’s so much of that and I still haven’t seen a ton of it but that stuff’s pretty cool. Pretty artsy stuff. And some of the Italian stuff. There’s so much that it’s all I’ve got left.
J- The Italian stuff is more artistic, like Argento, so you can kind of loosely base lyrics off of the images and it’ll sound more creative than just straight up…
D- (breaks into song singing “Frankenstein, Frankenstein”)

C- Can each of you name one favorite horror movie?

D- Army of Darkness
J- I thought it was Halloween, then I rewatched that. It used to scare the crap out of me and I watched it a few months ago, it was like damn, it didn’t quite hold up. The one movie I watched the most, I better not watch it again, it might not hold up, but Dead Alive.
B- What do I like, I guess I’d have to go with Near Dark or something. Just ‘cause I haven’t seen it in awhile. It was good though. Good vampire shit, man. Cool.

C- If each of you were a horror movie killer, who would you be?

J- I’d be Freddy Krueger.
D- You’re a molester?!
J- It’s only implied…
C- As long as we don’t go with the remake, it’s only implied.
J- Yeah, I didn’t like the remake. It was useless.
C- We won’t even get into remakes because I’ll dominate this thing with how much they all suck.
J- It was just a waste. So Stupid.
B- I guess anyone, like Freddy, who got away. Whoever got away. I’ll do that. I don’t want to be one who died.
D- I’ll be one of the Lost Boys because they killed too.
B- But they died.
D- Ah, whatever…

C- What would you consider the biggest milestone for Calabrese to date?

J- Crazy Horse, Boise, Idaho… interview with Chris for UKHorrorScene.
D- Wait, this is Rolling Stone, correct? (laughing) UK Rolling Stone…
D- Oh wait, a million view on You Tube. That was cool.
J- I guess going back to one of our first times ever playing out of town. It was at a dojo in Salt Lake in like a boxing ring and they took off the ropes and the people there were singing along. That blew me away that these people knew our songs and we’re from out of town. I think that was awesome.
B- Meeting Eerie Von. We met almost every single one of the Misftis. Eerie Von, Chudd, Jerry.
D- He’s not a Misfit…
B- Chudd’s a Misfit…
D- Eerie’s not…
B- (laughing) Everyone under the Misfit umbrella. The only one that’s left is Danzig. We’ve gotta meet Danzig.

Jimmy Calabrese singing

Jimmy Calabrese singing

C- My wife and I actually talked about this earlier. I thought your response was going to be playing with The Misfits..
D- Oh! Yeah, it was alright… (laughing) Now if we went on tour with them, that’d be something!
J- There was like one show.
B- ‘Zig… that’d be something.
D- A world tour with ‘Zig…

C- Hold that thought… next question: Is there anything that could trump your previous high? Something that would just be the ultimate high?

D- Being a household name…
J- It would be awesome if we partnered with Mr. Glenn, you know how he wrote a song for Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. He takes us under his wing, his dark wing, his black wing and let’s us feed his cat under the stained glass windows in his house. It would be cool working with Danzig in any respect.

C- What can your fans expect next from you guys?

D- More music videos.
J- Expect… the unexpected.
B- I guess more music videos, a couple more tours
D- …with Danzig
J- We’ll take Doyle too.
D- Danzig and Doyle together.

C- Before we’re done here, the big question my wife wants to know is: what’s the laundry situation on tour?
(My wife: How often are you guys doing your laundry?)

D- Every six days or so.
J- I usually do laundry once a week. Actually, we just did laundry… yeah, it’s been about a week and a half.
C- I haven’t noticed any weird odours coming from you guys.
J- No, we wear our leather jackets so you can’t really tell.
B- I only own one pair of underwear.
C- Do those get washed once a week?
B- No… I just wanted to throw that out there.

C- Anything you want to tell the UK fans?

J- Please come out to the shows. We’re gonna give you a kick ass show and rock your fucking face off. Be there!
B- If you don’t have the new album, Lust for Sacrilege, get it.
D- We’ve got Lust for Sacrilege out, get it from Amazon, iTunes, CalabereseRock.com, SpookshowRecords.com – See you soon…

This whole interview could’ve gone out as a podcast. The banter between these brothers is fun to listen to, let alone be involved in. I won’t lie and say I’m an outgoing guy, by any means, but Calabrese are easy to talk to. They love their fans so when they come to your town, go see them, say hi, buy some merch, bring them some pizza and, don’t forget, they’re huggers…

UK Tour dates and info:
Apr 24 @ Barfly – London, UK
Apr 28 @ Think Tank – Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Apr 29 @ The Parish – Huddersfield, UK
Apr 30 @ Slade Rooms – Wolverhampton, UK
May 04 @ Tiki bar – Plymouth, UK
May 05 @ Hobbit – Southampton, UK
May 06 @ The Lady Luck – Canterbury, UK
May 07 @ The Fighting Cocks – Kingston Upon Thames, UK
May 08 @ Barfly – London, UK
May 09 @ The Owl Sanctuary – Norwich, UK

Voyag3r – Doom Fortress album review

voyag3r-doomfortressVoyag3r
“Doom Fortress”

Voyag3r (pronounced Voyager 3), were first brought to my attention about a year ago when someone showed me their two song EP, “Victory in the Battle Chamber”. The Detroit three piece quickly gained momentum when word spread about them and rightfully so. It seemed their name started popping up all over the internet right after I heard them.

If you need vocals in the music you listen to, Voyag3r probably isn’t for you. But… if you like mood music that really sets a tone, you’d better seek them out. Their instrumental horror/sci-fi synth rock is perfectly suited for all you fans who love the masses of genre film scores making it out of the gates recently.

“Doom Fortress” is the newest effort from the band with six brand new tracks. Right away, it sounds like the same band as their previous album but the songs are a little more mature. Not necessarily better or worse, but maybe more thought out. Soundscapes are more drawn out to really bring in the listener on this one.

I pick up on influences from Tangerine Dream, Fabio Frizzi, Zombi and Goblin, but more so, John Carpenter. Both earlier and later Carpenter seem to guide Voyag3r’s newest effort, yet they manage to NOT sound like Carpenter clones. It’s merely influence.

What I’m getting at is that there are parts of songs that are minimalistic, synth-driven movements but they also go all out into a supercharged assault with the full band giving it everything they’ve got before a songs’ end. The guitar work, especially, helps bring this Carpenter influence to mind, as his later themes seemed to be more guitar driven.

voyag3r-bandSpeaking of the guitar… The tone on the lead guitar work felt familiar to me at first listen. As I dove further into the album, I noticed that it was reminiscent of “Wildhoney”-era Tiamat. If you’re a fan of the gothic-esque melodic metal of the mid-90’s, you’ll be loving the guitar work on this album. But, onto a little more about the album, itself…

As soon as you start Doom Fortress, you’re immediately transported into space. Maybe it’s a futuristic spaceship. Maybe it’s a space station. Either way, beneath the spacey sounds, the tone for a battle of intergalactic proportions swells.

Doom Fortress is an out of this world journey. It sounds like the score to a good versus evil, human versus alien film in the making. Our heroes blast off into space, fight their way through enemy territory, get viciously attacked by the aliens and somehow end up saving all of humanity in the end. If you don’t believe me, give this album a spin. You’ll see it, too. The driving drums, stellar synths and spacey guitars make for a hell of a fun listen.

8 out of 10

Vinyl LP Distro in USA via Light In The Attic Records: http://lightintheattic.net/releases/1520-doom-fortress
Vinyl LP Distro in UK via Death Waltz Records: http://deathwaltzrecordingcompany.com/shop/voyag3r-doom-fortress/

doomfortresscdCD & Cassette available at: http://www.voyag3r.com/merchandise.php

TRACK LISTING:
1. Summoning The Forgotten One
2. One’s True Intentions
3. Doom Fortress Escape
4. In The Hands Of The Computers
5. Il Guanto Nero
6. Lord Of Doom Fortress

Doom Fortress was recorded using vintage analog synths, electric guitar through vintage tube amplification and maple shell acoustic drums. All music was recorded to 2″ analog tape (MCI JH-24 2″ Analog 24-Track w/ALIII remote) through various vintage pre-amps and a 1977 Custom Harrison 3232 console for maximum authenticity and spirit in capturing this classic sound.

Steve Greene – Synthesizers
Greg Mastin – Drums
Aaron Greene – Guitars

 

Sam Haynes – Spine Chillers CD Review

spinechillers1Sam Haynes – Spine Chillers CD Review 

As All Hallow’s Eve draws ever closer and the long days turn into dark nights horror fans can now revel in the haunting sound-scapes of UK EDM Horror music pioneers Sam Haynes as 2014 brings us another studio release for all your Halloween and horror themed nights.

Spine Chillers brings plenty to the table for fans of 80s horror synth and electronic dance music. The scene which has seen a boom over the past few years with a resurgence of both classic re-issues and modern music is been held at the forefront by UK Label Graveyard Calling with a wealth of excellent music on the horizon.

Things open hauntingly with the intro Death Comes Creeping in, a mellow and atmospheric track which sets the atmosphere and tone perfectly in its relatively short runtime.

People already familiar with the work of Sam Haynes will find plenty of new things to discover with this set of tracks breathing new life into his style making it both work well on Haunts and horror themed parties without being relegated to that alone, this is ideal music to fill your ears in those cold autumn nights.

Album highlights are the creepy, almost Hitchcockian Masks, its simple rhythm and methodical melody push this out of the haunt realm alongside some of the classic scores which fans hold so dearly.

The album nicely progresses on its runtime mutating into a terrifying listening experience; Fans of Rob’s recent Maniac score will adore Grim Reaper the albums 5th track, its pulsing and catchy electronica is a wonderfully upbeat yet sinister affair.

Speaking of Maniac the track Night Caller, a pulsing electronic beat slowly paces under a ethereal ghostly chorus before slowly gaining momentum and dread in equal measures wonderfully produced and emotive this is a stand-out on the album.

spinechillers3Pandemonium Carnival is showcase of the complex and intricate work that Sam Haynes produce, after an excellently subtle intro the track evolves into a grandeur,epic circus inspired opus extremely sinister and right out of a killer clown slasher film this is the music that accompanies nightmares.

Spine Chillers spans the entire horror sub genre spectrum, lullabies from ghost stories, Carpenter and Howarth inspired terror synth but it is the 80s where Sam Haynes’ heart firmly lives and his passion and influence are the concurrent theme of this album giving it a nostalgic yet modern feel, allowing listeners to find a new spin on something familiar.

The albums artwork comes from the excellent horror artist Kachenstein, his colourful and energetic artwork rounds of this CD package nicely

The album is released on September 13th on all the digital music trade sites and the timing is perfect for the festive season, anyone interested in the horror music scene or those planning Halloween shindigs are recommended to pick up this and the earlier Sam Haynes album and won’t be disappointed with the results.

6/10.

spinechillers2

The Mugshots – ‘Love, Lust and Revenge’ EP review

mugband2The Mugshots
“Love, Lust and Revenge”

The Mugshots are a band who don’t sound like your typical horror-themed band. I guess, technically, they’re not. They’re more a band who play rock and roll with a dark twist. The classic rock influence is so heavy on this album, I have no doubt you could convince any number of people that this is a remastered reissue of a “forgotten” album.

The Mugshots did something with this EP that so many other bands today don’t do. They put the time and effort (and, likely, money) into hooking up with a producer who knows what he’s doing and recorded at a real studio. Most bands figure, “hey, I’ve got some recording gear. Let’s just do this ourselves.” A big percentage of these bands don’t know the first thing about how to make it not sound like a crappy, local band’s recording.

The band enlisted Dick Wagner as producer. Wagner has contributed to songs with the likes of Kiss, Hall and Oates, Peter Gabriel and more. He’s most known for playing guitar with Lou Reed and Alice Cooper in the 70’s. This partnership is fitting because The Mugshots actually sound heavily influenced by 70’s Alice Cooper.

When most people think of classic rock, they’re not thinking dark and brooding. These guys could easily fit in on a soundtrack to a horror movie, though. The subject matter is dark and extremely reminiscent of those end credits pieces or the song someone’s listening to on the radio that actually has a theme that fits with the movie.

MugBand1“Curse the Moon” is the first song on the EP. It has a nice piano intro. This is followed by a cool classic rock guitar solo over the top. The whole feel is very Alice Cooper. When the chorus comes in, it has a very Queen-like chord progression. Everything comes together and blends very well on this song. This is easily my favorite song on the album, as I could probably listen to it over and over.

“Nothing at All” is almost a Jethro Tull-meets-Meatloaf type composition with the guys from Queen helping out with the chorus’ back-up vocals. The production is great and the song feels like it could have been a huge hit in the 70’s. This could give anything Tull or Meatloaf did in the era a run for their money. It doesn’t catch my ear, personally, but it’s a well put together song.

“Under My Skin” immediately feels like more Alice Cooper tribute material. It’s got a dark progression and a steady, pounding bassline. Lyrically, it seems like something Cooper would have written, as well. The turnaround in the guitar riff has a cool doomy-feel that hooks you. The only problem with this song is that it never really takes off. It feels as if it builds and builds, getting ready to explode into huge finale. However, it never hits that climax, therefore, leaving it a little flat. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad, it’s definitely one of the better songs on the EP and keeps you waiting to hear what’s next.

“Free (As I Am)” is, lyrically, dark and brooding. It feels very stalker-esque. The music, again, brings a heavy 70’s Alice Cooper vibe. It just happens to be one of those more forgettable, deep tracks in a Cooper album that it reminds me of. The song never really catches me. The bridge section is reminiscent of the “No More Mister Nice Guy” bridge where he’s talking about a dog biting him on a leg today. The “free as I am” repeated section feels very much like a war protest song and sort of keeps the song from feeling like part of the rest of the album.

Grunge film frame“Pass the Gun Around” immediately reminds me of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”. I can almost hear the phrase “Ground Control to Major Tom” in the opening. It’s got a desolate, lost in space feel. I hear a ton of Queen influence, again, with the backup vocals. The super digital delayed guitar solo is a nice touch. It’s really helps bring the song together.

Overall, this is a good, well-rounded album. It’s not something the typical,”horror music” fan might appreciate. However, fans of that early Alice Cooper-era stuff… the deep cuts, they should definitely give The Mugshots a chance. It’s most-likely right up their alley.

6.5 out of 10

You can visit The Mugshots website here – http://www.mugshots.it/

And their Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/themugshots

[youtube=http://youtu.be/X9fKZgTBe7M]

 

SURF NAZIS MUST DIE (Original 1987 Motion Picture Soundtrack) from Strange Disc Records

SURF NAZIS MUST DIE (Original 1987 Motion Picture Soundtrack)

SNMD_originalStrange Disc Records is proud to announce their debut release, the soundtrack to *Surf Nazis Must Die*. The film itself was released in 1987 by Troma Entertainment, but the soundtrack has never seen the light of day until now.

And our friends at One Way Static have the exclusive European Distribution for SURF NAZIS MUST DIE !

Jon McCallum’s score suits the post-apocalyptic setting with heavy synth; fans of Tangerine Dream and John Carpenter’s scores will be at home on this record. McCallum is the composer behind *Miami Connection*, *Terror Eyes* and *Soul Taker*. Aside from his composing work he worked on the special effects for *Phantasm 2* and George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You,” music video.

Limited to 800 copies black vinyl and 200 copies ‘Blood In The Water’ vinyl. The color vinyl variant is randomly inserted. Comes packaged in a deluxe old school gatefold tip-on gatefold jacket with extensive liner notes by Composer Jon McCallum, Director Peter George, and various crew members. Artwork created by Jon McCallum himself and it was mastered for vinyl by Josh Bonati.

The limited ‘blood in the water’ color vinyl is only available from One Way Static, Strange Disc and Light In The Attic. Copies have been equally divided between the three of us but are still inserted randomly with orders.

TRACK LISTING

A1 Once You’ve Caught The Wave
A2 Opening Titles
A3 Youth Of Tomorrow
A4 After The Quake
A5 Across The River
A6 Visit To The Morgue
A7 In The Church
A8 Pushed Too Far

B1 Nobody Goes Home – Album Version (performed by Andrew Spindler)
B2 Mama Sends Her Love
B3 Before The Fight
B4 Chase Through The Boatyard
B5 The Last Wave
B6 Fangoria Weekend 1986 Promo

AVAILABLE FROM

** www.onewaystatic.com
(Europe, Rest of the world)

** www.lightintheattic.net 
(North America)

** www.strangedisc.com 

Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox House of Dolls EP – Review

sjil1Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox
House of Dolls EP

When I got this review assignment, it was described as horror ska-punk. I’m no fan of ska, in general, but it’s been awhile since I reviewed anything so I figured I’d go for it, being as unbiased or closed minded as I possibly can, to be fair.

The intro (aptly titled, “Intro”) starts up and the vibe is very Danny Elfman. I immediately imagined Vincent Price putting Edward Scissorhands together. The chiming piano gives off a somber tone only intensified by what sounds like a saxophone underneath. I’m wondering where they’re going to go from here because this isn’t setting up a ska-punk album to me. I’m into this and I’m expecting to not be into this album.

“Aliens” is the second track and I’m getting those upstrokes that I’m expecting from a ska band but the overall feel is so different. This one feels like a total Oingo Boingo song. The vocals are buried a little too much so it’s hard to make out where he’s going, lyrically. Upon further listens, it’s obviously about being probed by aliens after abduction. However, the Elfman/Oingo Boingo feel is very prominent. I can easily see this in any of Tim Burton’s claymation movies, albeit a bit toned down, lyrically. They keep those horns properly mixed so it doesn’t kill the vibe. A little double bass action on the drums helps add a little depth, as well.

When the third song comes in, I’m feeling pretty optimistic that I may like this whole EP. The track is called “Do You Know”. Some fun, haunted house-esque giggles on this one over those ska upstrokes is entwined with a haunted amusement park-type jam session. Nothing really happens in the song, but it feels very Squirrel Nut Zippers and it’s still fun.

When “Freakshow” hits, it feels like I’m on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. This happens to be one of my favorite things at Disneyland so, again, no complaints. There’s a very brief Elfman-type breakdown in the middle that screams “Corpse Bride” before ending with an upbeat horror ska(ish) ending.

sjil2The title track comes last with another Corpse Bride feel. I can also see this song easily thrown into The Addams Family movie during their party. I know it’s not a Tim Burton movie but it felt like one. The movie also doesn’t have any Elfman music in it but I always thought it could use some, along with Tom Waits’ “Russian Dance”. Now, add this one to the list of songs that could easily be inserted.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this EP. It’s weird and a bit off the wall. I would bet these guys are fun to see live. This is obviously a band who is doing what they want to do and they’re having fun doing it.

The likeness to Danny Elfman/Oingo Boingo, Squirrel Nut Zippers and a little Tom Waits in the music is pretty apparent to me. It’s probably something that I wouldn’t listen to all the time as it’s something that you have to be in the right mood for. I definitely like what they’re doing, though.

I don’t know that I’d call Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox a ska-punk band, myself. I don’t really know where I’d classify them but there’s no punk rock from what I heard and, while there is a definite ska influence, it’s not defining to the sound. Maybe I just don’t want to call it ska because I actually enjoyed this album and it’s hard for me to admit to liking anything ska. I could easily see any of these tracks ending up in a dark, kooky movie like those that Tim Burton makes. There’s a very dark cartoon/claymation feel and it’s just a bunch of fun, altogether.

7 out of 10.

Chris Cavoretto

For more info on Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox check out their Facebook page HERE 

DéFago – Roots of Evil – Album Review

defagorootsDéFago – Roots of Evil – Album Review

Spanish electronic guru DéFago’s follow up album to 2013’s outstanding debut, Call of Darkness is set to be issued by UK horror label and firm UKHS favourites Graveyard Calling on the first of April.

 

Roots of Evil, 9 tracks of eerie and melodic EDM is much of the same style and frantic pacing which DéFago is known for and on a whole doesn’t disappoint, the tracks feel a lot more experimental than the first album with DéFago coupling and layering familiar synth sounds to create an alien yet inviting world which encapsulates around the music.

 

The simple, robotic opening track, Bag Full of Nightmares lures the listener into a false sense of security before unleashing the familiar and haunting sounds found in a spate of 80s horror opus’.

 

Hardly allowing the listener to skip a beat before the aural assault continues DéFago delivers a shorter sequence of tracks ( the first three tracks have a relatively short runtime) all of them offering something different to hear and plenty to discover on repeated plays, the tiny nuances on the layering and different musical equipment delivers a fresh and interesting sequence of compositions that reward the effort that is put into them.

 

The fifth track, The Uselessness of 4am is an undoubted highlight of the album, starting slowly and pulsing, a shallow rise luring in the listener until a third of the way into the track it evolves perfectly from a frantic paced sequence to a subtly haunting finale showcasing DéFago ‘s talent for composition and storytelling through music.

 

Our Lady of Shadows is a complete 360 from the previous track, isolation and desolation are created with the use of negative sounds and a really creepy extended loop, sounding harmless at first but suddenly mutating into the crying and desperate sobbing of a woman; this is a completely unsettling song, harshly throwing the listener into the peril and tightly grasping them with sonically weird, yet compelling sequence.

 

defago1The final two tracks are the closest to his first album, 80s horror synth mixed with an psychedelic, pulsing pace that could be placed directly into Escape from New York and become part of that world.

 

The aptly titled Epitaph closes the album perfectly bringing back the dual layered synth working as a round would bringing an upbeat and catchy loop to end the journey perfectly. The woman (presumably) from Our Lady Of Shadows is back yet this time not screaming but harmonising washing a calming, angelic feel over the track closing the album and with it her journey.

 

Futuristic, scary and strangely inviting DéFago is carving a name for himself in this sonic landscape and the comparisons to Carpenter and Howarth are undeniable; as is the magnitude of influence they left in the 80s horror soundtrack world but look to DéFago to see the evolution of the style as he manipulates the commonplace into a whole new creature, using the familiar to alienate and astound, shattering preconceptions as the runtime winds on.

 

The album swiftly passes and If there is any quibble to be had is that some of the earlier tracks feel as though they could’ve been revisited and expanded allowing more time for the audience to soak them in, yet this also helps the middle section of the album come into its own.

 

The Call of Darkness was a highlight of 2013 for me and to compare this second album to it is unfair, both showcase the talent that DéFago possesses but also his ability to utilise his influences to his own effect, creating two different entities using the same instruments is outstanding.

 

Part of the fifth double feature cassette from Graveyard calling with label-mates Werewolves in Siberia second album the other and presented on an transparent purple tape; Roots of Evil comes highly recommended and has plenty for horror music and horror movie fans alike.

 

graveyardcalling1Graveyard Calling and its bands are laying down the gauntlet for the horror music community and every double feature is perfectly coupled. The limited nature of the releases and the resurgence of horror labels over the past few years makes this home-grown label one to keep an eye on.

 

8/10

Roots of Evil comes out on Cassette and download on April 1st from Graveyard Calling on their site here – www.graveyardcalling.co.uk 

Werewolves in Siberia – Beyond The City Of The Dead (2014) Album Review

wisnewWerewolves in Siberia – Beyond The City Of The Dead (2014) Album Review

Beyond the City of the Dead is the sophomore album from Electronic horror guru Werewolves in Siberia; following on from their début The Rising, Beyond the City of the Dead showcases their talent, growing passion and knowledge they have of our beloved horror genre this release comes highly recommended.

 

From the opening track Everything is Gone desolate and downright sinister opening takes you to the eponymous city of the dead its sparse, haunting melody captures the isolation and paranoia the listener would experience during an apocalyptic catastrophe perfectly and from the get go has the audience tightly in the grasp of the music.

 

From the very first listen Beyond the City of the Dead drags you into a world that WIS have masterfully created and for the next ten tracks captivate the audience guiding them through an aural journey which they will be thankful they were along for the ride for and wanting repeated visits in the foreseeable future.

 

The range of musical sub-genres on display throughout the album is astounding and although WIS influences are worn on the sleeve like a badge of honour, never does the album feel like it is infringing on the works of Carpenter/Howarth and Manfredini but can certainly be classed among them using their styles to the advantage of the album creating a familiar yet alien world in the process.

 

The album also feels a lot more mature than The Rising; this is no way a knock on the first album which I wholeheartedly endorse but the cues on display work far better in generating fear and panic especially in the track “The Woods” is remarkable and shows the signs of a great composer.

 

wis2Broken Souls, the album’s third track builds on the pacing of its predecessor, the fantastically titled Lycanthropic Dream-scape and if Lycanthrophic is the metaphorical movie’s chase scene Broken Souls is the pay-off; atmospheric drums and electronic dread in four minutes. The elongated synth rises coupled with a catchy crescendo progresses as the drumbeat morphs into a more complex arrangement subtly lying underneath the electronic sounds in an almost jazz-like accompaniment.

 

Showdown With a Ghoul is a methodically paced entry the sweeping electronic rises and rich organ feels remarkably like the early universal scores and rings like a warning of the underlying terror, almost a beacon of lost hope.

 

The Carpenter influence is evident on Revenge of the Zombi, although the track is thoroughly modern using that influence to their advantage WIS take the familiar and spin it 360 degrees into something strangely compelling. Harking to the new generation of horror composers and firmly slotting themselves in the aforementioned company with ease.

 

The layers of depth that are created throughout; its runtime allowing the audience to visualise a horror film in their own heads while WIS provide the accompanying soundtrack; this would be the perfect for score for a late 60’s Zombie flick straight from the Italian masters themselves.

 

wis1The whole album feels like it has purpose and slots alongside each other each song leading into the next like a jigsaw becoming so much more rewarding once the final notes of the outro track and silence echo’s allowing the listener time to reflect and indulge.

 

Each track could be broken down and visualised into its own scene and this is the main reason the album works so well; not only offering the viewer to get involved emotionally but leaving them salivating for more.

 

I for one would love to hand each track to a different director and see the outcomes that each director envisions.

 

On the other side of the coin WIS’ Chris Cavoretto has a wonderful mind for composing and is both highly knowledgeable and respectful of past composers work and the horror genre, which is evident after just one listen of any of his songs. He encompasses a visual flair that will undoubtedly further his scope of work in the near future and allow WIS to expand and develop on each release.

 

Beyond the City of the Dead comes highly recommended and is due for release by the UK horror label Graveyard Calling on limited edition cassette and digital download on April the 1st..

 

Turn down the lights, lock the doors, and raise the volume. Let this magical sound scape wash over you and go Beyond the City of the Dead with the Werewolves in Siberia.

 

8.5/10

wis3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can check out Werewolves in Siberia on the following links –

Websites – www.werewolvesinsiberia.com/

www.werewolvesinsiberia.bandcamp.com/

Facebook – www.facebook.com/WerewolvesInSiberia

Twitter – www.twitter.com/Werewolves_I_S

 

And check out Graveyard Calling records –

www.graveyardcalling.bandcamp.com/

Facebook – www.facebook.com/GraveyardCalling

Twitter – www.twitter.com/GraveyardCallin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Miss Stakes – Monster Party Hits (2013) Music Review

coverLittle Miss Stakes
“Monster Party Hits”

 
Little Miss Stakes are a horror punk/rock band from Belfast, Northern Ireland.  The last ten years or so, we’ve seen hundreds, maybe even thousands of horror punk bands pop up.  Ninety-five percent of them sound the same.  LMS are not that typical horror punk band.

I will say, right off the bat, that the vocals on the album will be the thing that drives the casual rock listener away from this band.  For me (and fans of the more aggressive rock and punk rock), they work very well.  There’s plenty of range and diversity here with the vocals. At times, there is an early AC/DC Bon Scott style.  There’s a growly type of almost death/black metal demon possession vocal.  There’s a more feminine(ish)-rock and roll vocal style ala Joan Jett.  A lot reminds me of Vince Neil as well.

Overall, there is a huge 45 Grave meets WASP meets The Misfits vibe.  None of it, however, sounds like they’re ripping anyone off.  They’re playing their own brand of horror-themed rock and roll. The bass sounds amazing and I’m glad it starts before the guitar here as it’s easy to have the bass tone buried and miss it.  With it coming in first, it stays fresh in the mind to really listen to it throughout the album.  The guitar tones are great as well.  Raw but very pronounced in the recording. A good heavy drum sound helps it make a well-rounded sounding album.

DSC_0186-3The first song is “Killer Klowns from Outer Space”.  This one screams 45 Grave as soon as it kicks in.  It’s that sort of generic horror movie 80’s rock sound that you just can’t get enough of.  This song might not be quite as catchy as the Dickies’ “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” that made it in the movie, but I’d probably say it’s better.  Great horror rock song.  It ends with a great punk rock circus vibe, complete with some keyboard bell sounds.

As Killer Klowns ends, “The Ghoul Next Door” kicks right in and you can hear influence all over this one.  It’s the 50’s-influenced horror punk that made The (original) Misfits famous and this song is phenomenal.  With the backup vocals and better recording quality, it’s somewhat reminiscent of Michale Graves-era Misfits, as well.  With these vocals being nowhere near a Danzig-style, the song feels more influenced by than a wannabe Misfits replica.  Very refreshing in the horror punk genre.  At this point, I’m really feeling this album.

“Mina” is more rock and roll fun.  Something about the riffing in it reminds me a bit of Calabrese.  Again, I can hear possibly an influence but no ripping off going on here.  Three songs in, LMS are doing a great job of keeping my attention. When “Drag Queen Dracula” hits, what can I say?  It’s another solid rock and roll song.  This one sort of reminds me of late 80’s/early 90’s era Alice Cooper.  Fun, horror rock with a bit of metal entwined to round out the big sound.  When it ends, so does the album (fairly abruptly).

Each song on this album has a bit of a different feel than the last but each one is strong and they feel good together from the listener’s standpoint.  Most horror punk bands are content with trying to sound like The Misfits and letting that be their defining quality.  Influence is fine, but most bands take it too far and lose any sense of listenability. What Little Miss Stakes have done is they’ve taken these influences and recycled them into their own sound.  This is how it should be done, horror punk bands.  Take a lesson from these guys.

Little-Miss-Stakes-1-e1376052510949 The biggest problem this EP has is that it’s over a little too soon.  The problem with short, four song EP’s is that they’re forgotten in the stacks of other music we all have.  We put on an album when we’re doing something and we don’t want to have to change it again in 12 minutes.  However, I’ve listened several times since receiving it so this one might be strong enough to keep from getting buried.

After several listens, I did a little more research on the band and came across another four song album, Bela Lugosi’s Pro Skater 3 (awesome title, by the way).  If it’s as strong as this one, I suggest we all put both albums together in one playlist and listen often.

7.5/10

Chris Cavoretto

You can visit the Little Miss Stakes bandcamp page HERE

Or their Facebook page HERE