The Lunatics from the Sticks. The Ghastly Ghouls of Gainesville. Dirty South Frightrock Juggernauts. Whatever you want to call them, The Casket Creatures are back with a brand new EP called She Screams. It delivers all of the ferocity and raw terror you’ve come to expect from the reigning kings of Atlanta’s horror rock scene while continuing the evolution of their sonic attack. After lineup chaos that would cripple most bands, The Casket Creatures have emerged a leaner, meaner beast ready to raise the dead and rock the living.
Throughout their two full length albums and now the EP, you can hear a clear progression. Like any good band, they continue to evolve and challenge themselves while maintaining their trademark sound. She Screams sees the Creatures move in a somewhat “punkier” direction. They’ve shed a few of their more metallic elements without sacrificing any of the intensity. I think a lot of that lies in the guitar work. With Jamie’s departure, last axe-man standing Derek Obscura’s signature sleaze/glam punk edge takes center stage. If I were to compare it to anything, I would say the guitar style sounds sorta reminiscent of a less poppy version of Wednesday 13’s better work. That’s not to say it sounds the same, however. Derek definitely has his own style and flair… and damn can that boy write a catchy ass riff!
Where the rhythm section is concerned, new bass monster Cliff Damnage brings a punishing energy to the bottom end. Wow, that sounded vaguely dirty. Anyway, nothing against any past member, but Cliff is the perfect fit for the band and his contribution goes a long way towards the gelling of a cohesive sound. Besides, it’s always a good sign when your bass player is named Cliff, right? As they’ve had a bit of a Spinal Tap drummer situation going on lately, I can’t really say much as to the drums on the record. I can say, however, that after seeing new skin basher Brandon Deadly in action live, he’s more than capable of taking up the mantle.
Ryan Cadaver continues to develop the signature “aggro-croon” that makes him one of the most dynamic frontmen in the genre, but the real surprise on this album is in the backing vocals. She Screams features a LOT of harmonizing. Remember when harmony was a dirty word in heavy alternative rock until Alice In Chains showed us that it could be damn amazing? This is the American horror punk equivalent. The harmonies on songs like Haunted and The Final Night (is it kosher to call horror punk “woah-oh-oh’s” beautiful?) take the role of vocals in this style of music to a new level.
The band definitely maintains their macabre sense of humor on this EP. The interlude that precedes Zombie Werewolves From Outer Space reminded me of some of the silliness from The Ghastly One’s classic A Haunting We Will Go-Go album. Graveyard Girl strikes a great balance of light-hearted and heartless, and GKMF revels in giving the world a giant middle finger with a little smirk in its sneer. Even straight ahead tales of terror like the title track, a botched exorcism ode, and the apocalyptic The Final Night crackle with an element of fun that makes this a great Halloween party album any time of year.
As far as picking a standout track, there really isn’t a weak link in the bunch. I guess I would have to go with the title track, She Screams. It stands alongside Lizzie’s Song and A Step Ahead of Death as possibly the best song the guys have ever unleashed. In fact, the songwriting all around is top notch. I catch myself singing these tunes in the shower, which I consider the mark of true quality. I know, the mental picture of me in all of my sudsy, naked glory belting out Zombie Werewolves From Outer Space just made this one a must own. You’re welcome.
|The Casket Creatures, Phantom Troublemaker, and SOC.|
By now you’re asking yourself “how do I get this goodness in my earholes?” Well, She Screams is currently available for purchase on Amazon, itunes, and CD Baby… OR you could enter to win the autographed copy I’m giving away. That’s right Cellmates; I have one brand spanking new copy, autographed by your favorite horror punk band, to give away to one of you. Who loves you, baby? All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below with your email address and your favorite horror-influenced song. It could be horror punk, metal, some obscure blues song about crossroads demons, an Alice Cooper classic, a country murder ballad, a movie score, Heffalumps and freakin’ Woozles, whatever. As a bonus, if you go check out The Son OfCelluloid Show (LINK) AND subscribe to the youtube channel, I’ll enter your name twice. Just make sure you alert me to that in your comment. The contest ends on April 23, and the winner will be announced on episode 3 of The Son Of Celluloid Show on April 28. Now get cracking, Cellmates!