If your local graveyard seems a bit dull, feeling a touch lifeless, then an invitation to Italian rockers Motel Transylvania and their new EP They Dig After Midnight will be sure to get things ravenously rocking again. Fusing horror punk and psychobilly in a salaciously dirty punk ‘n’ roll stomp, the Savona hailing trio whip up a keen revelry with their latest encounter, create a sonic hex able to get decayed bodies jerking in tandem with the moves of the living. It is raw, untamed, and an easy trigger for excitement over its wares and the open potential of the band to dig down to deeper success ahead.
Formed in the final throes of 2013, Motel Transylvania began as a solo project for stand-up drummer/vocalist Toxi Ghoul. Within a few months it had grown by two more corpses with the addition of bassist/backing vocalist Vec and guitarist Eli. Inspirations to the band’s sound include, unsurprisingly listening to They Dig After Midnight, Misfits, Zombie Ghost Train, Mad Sin, and Demented Are Go, whilst equally the likes of Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 and The Order Of The Fly spring to mind at times across the release. Fair to say though, the Motel Transylvania sound breeds its own character from that healthy mix of influences, resulting in a compelling and thoroughly enjoyable introduction for ears to their tenacious incitements.
From the scenery setting Intro and its dank atmosphere around cinematically gothic and carnival-esque suggestiveness, They Dig After Midnight explodes into life with the rousing Go Psycho! Rhythms and swipes of guitar grab ears from the first breath of the track, Toxi subsequently reinforcing the bait and hold with a solo roll of addictive beats before everything unites again in a heated invitation. The grizzly tones of his vocals growl just as potently as the bass of Vec drops an addiction lighting bassline through the fiery mist from Eli’s guitar, and though the track never explodes into rowdy life as it might it becomes more persistent in its catchy temptation with every rhythmic swing and caustic hook. There is a moment when a thought arose that if The Rezillos were psychobilly, they would sound something like this, a hint to the virulence and mischievous charm fuelling the encounter.
The track Motel Transylvania comes next and immediately makes a more forceful but equally infectious blaze of sound and intent. Group calls make an early pungent lure, they sparking the more belligerently energetic heart of the track within a body and nature carrying a contagious provocation with an always welcome Misfits scent to its grouchy temptation.
There is a great strength of variety within They Dig After Midnight, the first pair of songs quick evidence backed by the rockabilly revelry and psychobilly irritation of The Room. Like Guana Batz meets Norm and The Nightmarez whilst digging in a punk grave, the track rocks and rolls like a devil hound on heat. The bone splitting beats of Toxi are a prime instigator of the raucous toxicity fiercely pleasing ears with guitar and bass similarly devilish and antagonistic cohorts.
Summer In the Grave arrives on the sound of waves lapping a dark beach, the guitar carrying a matching tone in its surf lined charm as calm vocals caress ears. There is a devilish wink to the moment though, one which spins a subsequent slim bodied and irresistible Tiger Army meets Buzzcocks rock ‘n’ roll tale with a further glint in its punkish eye. Its warm light within romancing shadows is a thrilling proposal quickly contrasted by the carnivorous temptation of Night of the Living Dead. Graves are emptied as The Meteors toned predation spins a deliciously essential hook as a core to rapacious grooves and hungrily badgering rhythms, they matched by the rabid urgency and snarl of the vocals. The track is glorious, one of the biggest highlights of the album especially with its venomous swagger midway setting up another tempest of savage rock ‘n roll.
It is a triumph more than matched by It’s Not So Bad, the band’s recent single. Slipping in on a heavy noir coated bassline, becoming more vocal with another of the irresistible hooks and grooved enterprise the band has already shown themselves to be potent at sculpting, the song is like a skeletal tango. Its elements unite to form and wrap the song’s volatile frame, offering individual dances in the making of one boisterous romp. There is an old black and white animated film showing skeletons in a demented shuffle, bones twisting and coming unravelled but simultaneously performing an increasingly compelling devilry; It’s Not So Bad is a sonic equivalent.
The release closes with I Wanna Be Your Ghoul, a Morricone-esque croon within a sultry climate scattered with spicy hooks for a dark blood-coated romance for the imagination. It is not a track which grabs the psyche and passions as forcibly as its companions within They Dig After Midnight though but still only pleases as it reveals another strain of imagination in the Motel Transylvania songwriting and sound.
As They Dig After Midnight infests ears for another thoroughly enjoyable romp whilst writing final thoughts, expectations are that Motel Transylvania has all the potential to grow into a formidable and even more striking proposition, and no doubt with plenty more successes like this littering the way.
They Dig After Midnight will be dug up and unleashed on December 18th via Undead Artists.
Pete RingMaster 17/12/2015
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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