White City Graves – One Of Us

One Of Us Album Cover Art

White City Graves – One Of Us
Self-Released
Release date: 20/08/2021

Running Time: 27:35
Review by: Alun Jones
8.5/10

White City Graves released this album back in August, but I’m reviewing it in October (and I’m publishing it in January, because of technical issues – Beth).  Not because I’m a slacker, but because this album is totally appropriate for the Spookiest Month of the Year.  That’s right folks, we’ve jumped on the Horror Punk ghost train again, so buckle up and be prepared for a rollicking roll on the tracks to hell.

To be fair, there’s definitely a Misfits/Danzig influence with “one Of Us”, but White City Graves cast a wider net than just Horror Punk.  Aggressive as it is, and with the undoubted splash of melody from those aforementioned bands, these songs also owe a big debt to ugly metal bands like Motorhead, Venom and Mercyful Fate.

Like Tad jacked up on speed and Monster Energy whiskey cocktails, it’s furious and frightening.  We’re only one motel stop from chainsaw killers and rabid werewolf bikers – all of which makes Al rub his hands with glee.

‘Bump In The Night’ starts with a sample of an obscure B-movie (of course) and proceeds in the manner we’d expect: Punk’n’Roll at 200mph and snarling vocals.  ‘Lights Out’ is a frenzied rocker with the hugest chorus on the album – think the Anti-Nowhere League partying in a haunted house and you’ll be there.      

The band give a nod to their Seattle roots with an exemplary cover of Soundgarden’s ‘Hunted Down’, a surprising song choice, but it makes perfect sense.  WCG take the original and inject even more brutality, but retain a little of the psychedelic feel of the original.

I’ve no idea who Brooks is, but ‘Brooks is Here’ features a helluva fast, almost psychobilly freak out.  ‘Make My Blood Boil’ and ‘Day in the Death’ have a similar feel, though ‘Deeper’ takes a more metallic approach with some added Sisters of Mercy atmos.

“One of Us” is fast and nasty, unafraid to have some fun with the Horror Punk cliches, but adding a ruthless Heavy Rock influence.  Like the best of Seattle bands, it’s an irresistible collision of Punk and Metal that’s fun and makes the listener beg for more.  Why aren’t more bands like this?  

My old mate Ronnie James Dio used to love Halloween.  He had fantastic costumes too: demons, zombies, imps.  I used to have to take him out Trick or Treating every year, acting as his minder.  Of course, I looked more like his parent, and most of the people thought little Ron, knocking on their door, was a child.  He got loads of candy though, and he always shared it with me.  Happy days.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Bump in the Night
02. Lights Out
03. Manifesto
04. Hunted Down
05. Brooks Was Here
06. Make My Blood Boil
07. Day in the Death
08. Freddy Four Fingers
09. Deeper
10. We’ll All Be Graves

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Lugosi – Video Nasty

Video Nasty Album Cover Art

Lugosi – Video Nasty
Self-Released
Release Date: 12/03/2021
Running Time: 26:29
Review by Alun Jones
8.5/10

OK, here we go! The clue is in the title, folks – you can probably figure out where we’re headed with a band called Lugosi straight off the (vampire) bat. If not, let me give you some pointers…

To get to Lugosi’s haunted house, depart from the Ramones’ basement, travel up Misfits Avenue, take a left at Danzig Drive, head on past Lemmy’s Bar’n’Grill till you get to 1313 Mockingbird Lane. And you’ve arrived: horror themed punk’n’roll with fast’n’furious tunes and daft lyrics about dodgy old horror and sci-fi movies. In other words, exactly the kind of goth rock Halloween shindig that your ol’ Uncle Al loves to crash.

Let’s get the devil-locked elephant in the room dealt with first: ‘cos there’s going to be a Misfits reference in nearly every sentence I write of this review! To be fair, although there’s an undoubted Misfits influence in Lugosi’s work, it’s more in the lyrical content: songs about vampires, Dawn of the Dead and devil worship are aplenty, but in a tongue in cheek, Hammer horror style rather than any serious Satanic pretence. This is music made by fans of cheesy, campy horror classics for other fans of the same.

The music itself has less of the big “WOAH” Danzig choruses and a more Motorhead inspired punk’n’roll sound, like Supersuckers or Zeke. There’s even a really cool instrumental in the middle of ‘They Came From Outer Space’ that has an Iron Maiden feel. The riffs are not too far from Clutch, and – is that a Thin Lizzy influence? Well, I was surprised to learn that Lugosi are from Dublin – I imagined they were from a remote cabin in the Texas backwoods somewhere…

‘Late Night Slasher Movie’ starts things off perfectly, in the speedy rockin’ style I mentioned, with hilarious lyrics! ‘We’re Here To Drink Blood’ is one of the punkier paced, Ramones tracks – and it’s catchier than a zombie plague. Then there’s ‘Soylent Green’, which reminds me of Jerry Only era Misfits (this is a good thing). A heavier, Sabbath feel rocks right out of the grave on ‘The Vampyre’ and ‘Hellfire Club’. There’s an almost doom sound to ‘1313’, augmented by high-pitched, theremin like weirdness. I think you get the idea.

“Video Nasty” is a great album, thoroughly enjoyable in many ways: a successful Frankenstein bolting together of B-movies, punk and heavy metal – ideal for your next gathering on All Hallows Eve. Kitsch, ridiculous, over the top – and FUN. Lugosi have really reanimated the corpse of horror punk, and – it’s alive!!!

‘They Came From Outer Space’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Late Night Slasher Movie
02. They Came From Outer Space
03. We’re Here To Drink Blood
04. Soylent Green
05. The Vampyre
06. Hellfire Club
07. Dawn Of The Dead
08. 1313
09. Ourboros

LINE-UP:
JM Burr – Vocals
Alan Morton – Guitars
Neal “Rim” Wright – Bass
Jimmy Rooney – Drums

LINKS:

Lugosi Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.