Friday, May 6, 2011

The soundtrack to your summer: Rue Morgue's Hymns from the House of Horror 2 reviewed.

Rue Morge Magazine, for my money, is the best horror magazine out there today (no offense to HorrorHound or Fango). Last year they put out an awesome compilation called Rue Morgue’s Hymns from the House of Horror. I will always be indebted to that comp for introducing me to The Creepshow. Well, Rue Morgue has graced us with another macabre mixtape. Best of all, it’s FREE! I’ll post a link at the end of the article so all of you dear readers can grab this. Hurry though, it’s only for a limited time. I just downloaded it, and I’m about to sit down for my first listen. As I do so, I’m gonna break it down track by track for you. Come along, lets take a trip through Rue Morgue’s wonderland of morbid musical delights. Ready? Alright then, let’s go…Oh, one other thing before we go. I’ve never heard of a lot of these bands, and I’m sure a lot of you haven’t either. I’ll try to describe them for you, but in doing so, I will compare them to similar bands. I’m not saying anything about the integrity of any band’s musical direction or saying they’re copying anyone. I’m only trying to give you a frame of reference. Now then, with that out of the way, let’s descend into the madness. Shall we?

1. The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets – Shhh… - I’m digging this. These guys have a killer dark rock sound. If I had to describe it, I would say it’s what would happen if Queens of the Stone Age tried to write a horrorpunk song. Good stuff from a band I definitely want to hear more of. This CD is off to a good start.
2. GWAR – Zombies, March! – Um, it’s GWAR. What else do I need to say? It is a typically GWAR slice of madness, continuing with the heavier sound GWAR has employed since their War Party album. This song can also be found on their Bloody Pit of Horror album. Wait, did I just use GWAR as a noun and an adjective in the same sentence? You bet I did.
3. Corpusse – Blood Will Have Blood – Um…ok. Corpusse, who is from what I gather a Canadian performance artist/vocalist/weirdo (and those who know me know that weirdo is far from an insult in my book), rants over a looped beat. From reviews I’ve read, it’s entertaining live. Maybe the sonic bizarreness just doesn’t translate well to CD. I dunno. You keep doin’ your thing man. It’s not my cup of blood. Sorry.
4. Kill Murder Killers – The first of four fun parodies of those cheesy grindhouse trailers we all love.
5. Black Moth Super Rainbow – Born on a Day the Sun Didn’t Rise – Very poppy, kinda like Beck doing psychedelic trip hop with an electronic distorted female voice. I knew a lot of people in college that listened to bands that sounded like this. I couldn’t tell you those bands’ names, because I wasn’t into them enough to find out. I don’t dig it, but have a feeling that quite a lot of you will.
6. Memphis Morticians – 13 O’Clock Rock – Take Reverend Horton Heat style rockabilly, give it a punk rock sneer and a horror obsession, and you have the Memphis Morticians. It’s a slower tempo psychobilly song with a heavy groove running through the fuzz. Good track.
7. Kreeps – You Can’t Give Me Anything –Rue Morgue, who I usually credit with having impeccable taste, called Kreeps’ last album the best of 2010. With accolades like that, I was expecting a lot. I can’t make up my mind about these guys. Some of their stuff is pretty decent. A lot of it also sounds like that pretentious modern “indie” rock that is clogging the airwaves these days. You know, that crap you hear on cell phone commercials. This song is somewhere in the middle. It was pretty average if you ask me. I’ve only heard about 5 or 6 of their songs, so I’ll reserve judgment until I can take in the rest. I can see this band becoming extremely popular though. They have a dark leaning but appeal to the current mainstream rock tastes. I’d call this Hipster Horror Music.

8. Spooklight feat. Ryan Lindsey – Suck Me - The dark pop continues, but with a bouncy, vaguely 80’s sounding track with a definite quirky charm. It is also insanely catchy. It’s a song that WILL get stuck in your head regardless of whether it’s your style or not. You’ve been warned. God help me, I think this one is gonna grow on me. I mean Stephen King in Creepshow style.
9. Zombies of the Dead – Grindhouse trailer parody 2 of 4. These are pretty damn funny.
10. RAMMER – A Questionable Obsession with the Recently Deceased – Holy Hell! I wasn’t expecting metal, much less killer old school speed/thrash. How have I never heard of these guys? I’m loving this!
11. Timber Timbre – Bad Ritual – A piano and synth number that’s somehow jaunty and morose at the same time. Reminds me a little of Nick Cave. It’s kinda…(best Bruce Campbell voice)…Groovy.
12. The von Drats – Phantom Chop – Some good instrumental surf rock. They do it better than most, too. If you dig The Ghastly Ones style of psycho-surf, you’ll dig this. I do, so I do.
13. The Crypt Club – Crushed – Good old school goth rock. They’d fit in well with the awesome lineup of Cleopatra’s heyday. Kinda like Nosferatu’s less metallic side or maybe The Deep Eynde. I enjoyed this track immensely.
14. The Young Werewolves – Wrong Turn – I have heard over and over about this band and have never gotten around to checking them out. After hearing the great track that they contribute here, that will definitely have to be remedied. An interesting note, the executive producer for their second album was none other than Sid Haig!
15. Day of the Rocks – Parody # 3. Did I mention that these are really funny?
16. The Mission Creeps – Monster – It sounds a bit like The Cramps mixed with Raw Power era Iggy and the Stooges. Yeah, it’s as cool as that sounds.
17. Calabrese – Violet Hellfire – This track is rockin’, but I would expect no less from the horrorpunk juggernaut that is Calabrese. This song is from their CD They Call Us Death.

18. The Other – Can’t Stop the Monster Kids – The Other brings the fury from Germany. Their sound is somewhere between punk and early 80’s deathrock. Awesome. If you don’t know about The Other, you should.
19. The Creeping Cruds – Get Up and Kill –I love the Creeping Cruds down and dirty sound. If you ever have a chance to see them live, DO IT! This track has a bit of a slightly slowed down Motorhead flavor. All hail the Creeping Cruds!
20. Murder on the Gondola – Parody # 4 This is the best one. Hilarious.
21. So Sick Social Club feat. Madchild – Birthday – If Hollywood Undead covered ICP or Twiztid it would sound a lot like this. Horrorcore rap tends to be a very “love it or hate it” genre. If you’re into it, you will definitely dig this one. I like this cut.
22. Squid Lid – Tongue Sandwich (Water Creature Remix) – I’m not into electronic music, so I have no idea which of the umpteen thousand electro-sub genres to put this in. Sorry Squid Lid, I can't really review the track 'cause I don't know or like the genre. Kinda like the pop stuff, it’s not my thing, but that’s the beauty of a comp like this. It caters to all tastes. While I don’t dig on the techno stuff, the next listener might. That’s the point. Kudos to Rue Morgue for covering all the bases.
23. The Brains – Screaming – Psychobilly goodness. You know that hearse driving cat with the pompadour and the misfits t-shirt that gets all those hot psychobilly chicks? He listens to The Brains. You should follow suit.
24. Blood Ceremony – Oliver Haddo – Sabbath style riffs with a 70’s rock organ? Count me in. This hard rock dirge is my first introduction to Blood Ceremony, and I like what I hear. For those who are so inclined, this strikes me as perfect “smoke a bowl, turn the black light on, and just jam out” music. Crank it!

I must say, this is just as good as last year’s CD. I am a big fan of the mix disc, and Rue Morgue just made a great one. It’s like a Frankenstein beast stitched together from pieces gathered from every corner of the musical graveyard. There were a couple of songs I wasn’t big on, but hell, that’s the point. It’s like a freakshow. You might not be into the sword swallower, so go check out the lobster boy or the guy banging nails into his face. There’s something here for everyone. There are a few of the heavyweights of the darker side of music here alongside a lot of unknown bands that I’m glad are getting some exposure. I know I’ve definitely found some artists I want to look into further. This is track after track of deliciously dark decadence for the discerning fright fiend. Well done Rue Morgue, this is a killer collection. I definitely hope this becomes a yearly tradition. I cannot recommend it enough. You better go get it with the quickness though; it’s only available for download until July 31. Oh, and did I mention that IT’S FREE?!? What are you waiting for? Two severed thumbs up, Nathan says check it out.

As I promised, here's the link: GET THIS AWESOME CD RIGHT HERE!!!


William said...

West coast wolfpack members never get to see The Young Werewolves live, but we love them viciously. It's drop dead cool to see them included in Hymns II, and we recommend a long listen to the rest of their very diverse song list.

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