Monday, August 25, 2014

REVIEW: New Graveyard Calling Releases featuring Demoni and Spooky Jefferson's Ideal Lunchbox

That Graveyard Calling exists makes a happy horror music fan. These guys put out really cool cassette tapes in awesome color with great packaging for bands that need exposure because... simply put... they fucking rock my bloody socks clean off. Up to this point they've focused on electronic music releases which, while eye opening, was not necessarily my favorite subgenre of horror music. With their latest double feature of releases they've ventured into ska and psychobilly. Both horror releases. Both catchy as fuck. Both with a unique charm that makes each listenable and fun as Hell!

Spooky Jefferson's Ideal Lunchbox - House of Dolls

This is my first experience with Spooky Jefferson's Ideal Lunchbox and the main thing I want you to take away from this experience is that it has a distinctly Danny Elfman (or even his older project Oingo Boingo) quality to it. Imagine a traditional, somewhat danceable work of horror musical fiction balanced with electric synth punk polkas of multi-layered doomsday music. It's almost like a horror ska. Lyrically creative with dark fantasy tales embedded in off-pop music creates feeling that will prime your pogo pump.

From the opening with "Spooky's Lunchbox", a piano dirge, funeral march to "Aliens", a bouncy, crafty work of dancehall punk there's an eclectic feeling that is wholly refreshing, so much so that I actually had to listen to the album a few times before fully understanding what my ears were hearing. I knew I liked it, but putting together all the sounds and textures were pleasantly, unobvious. "Do You Know"  is a fast paced ska-horror skank fest. Freakshow, as the name may or may not suggest, is very akin to pop-dark carnival music. It's catch and fun. As the last song on House of Dolls, the titular track, says, "Live Life. Chase Death". Pick this up and have fun soaping windows this October 30th. This is music for creatures of the night who want to wear skeleton costumes and have a good time toilet papering the town white.

Demoni - Day of Demoni

Raw dog psychobilly straight out of the tradition of Tiger Army with pounding, percussive bass licks that thwack your bass speaker into submission. Each track is a tribute to horror from And Now the Screaming Starts (to begin the album and as tribute to the movie of the same name) to the album's finale, Night of the Creeps, there are no surprises here. You have heard songs like this before from other bands, but goddamn it's good. It is a perfect horrorabilly EP with a variety of scary topics and references with catchy lyrics, great hooks and even the occasional horror quote. "Screaming like banshess!" Ha! Very nice, Demoni. 

The song Black Lagoon is a nice blend of surf and psycho, echoing a monsterific time for horror when fans of the genre could stare at the rubber suit monsters every weekend at the matinee. This track is great for driving or surfing. They Crawl is an ick fest with fun lyrics that may just give you the heebie jeebies. It seems highly likely that this one is also influenced by Night of the Creeps. Scared to Death feels like a blend of surf and The Reverend Horton Heat. This is one of the music only numbers on the album which is daring and unsuspecting. I'm glad to see that Demoni felt comfortable enough to express themselves in a somewhat less popular fashion (at least by today's standard). 

You can purchase both of these on limited edition cassette or digital download now. Both are extremely limited on tape format so pick em up quckly.

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