Always one to push his music family and label’s adventure, founder and owner of Undead Artists, Johnny Rose (Thirteen Shots) set the task for his bands to record a cover of a track from the other label companion he paired them up with. It was not just to be a simple version though but a task with the remit to make the song their own helped by Rose’s sly move of matching up different genre bred bands and their contrasting textures and sounds. What emerged is the ten track treat of Monster Mash-Up; eight songs not to be found anywhere else as well as a pair of additional slices of very appetising goodness.
The compilation gets off to a flyer with The Bloodstrings and the track Dead In Berlin. Grabbing the song from horror punks Cavaverman with relish, the German quartet swiftly grip attention as the throaty upright bass twangs of Nick waggle a beckoning finger. As the swinging melodies and rhythms of Manuel and Fest respectively, only add to the growing lure soon led by the captivating tones of vocalist Celina, the band fully infuses the track with their punkabilly touch and contagion. In no time hips are swaying and feet a skittish blur in union with the excellent start to the album and just as enthused by next up Motel Transylvania, and indeed the rest romping across the already appetite pleasing release.
The 2015 formed Italian horrorbilly outfit get their claws into Stolen By The Night from Silpha and The Corpseboners next, gnarly riffs and firmly kissing beats from stand-up drummer/vocalist T.Ghoul prowling the senses before sparking a ferocious roar led by the sonic fire of The Wolfman and the grumbling bass of Fish”The scarecrow”. Within that raw dirty confrontation, warm suggestive melodies radiate and deceptive calm seduces until the blaze is ignited again. As those around them, the band live up to instructions and make the outstanding fan favourite song of its creators into something distinct to themselves, the texture of male instead of female vocals alone giving it a new carnivorous air.
It is truly fair to say it is a success all the swaps achieve, the bloody punk ‘n’ roll prowess of Dr. Hell taking Don’t Say The Z Word from Lupen Tooth’s debut EP and infesting it with punk vivacity and aggression as well as a delicious almost ska inspired devilment half way in. A repetitious chorus backed by group vocals demands involvement to top one virulent stomp to keenly embrace before we get an alternative version of a song recently part of a release already exciting the year. From Hamme in Belgian, horrorpunks Deadite recently released their album The Damned, a compelling slab of ravenous rock n’ roll within which its haunting Tiger Army-esque title track provided one of many major highlights. The trio offer an alternative take for this album, a just as captivating and in many ways even more seductive temptation with its cleaner cut yet thicker smoulder, a twist giving it a more Dommin like air.
Bremen hailing Jamey Rottencorpse and The Rising Dead are next to step forward, laying their hands on I Sold My Soul Tonight by Raizing Hell, a band sadly no longer with us who split up before they could return the favour. The enjoyably scuzzy horrorpunk of Jamey and co easily infuses into the original’s more punk based rock ‘n’ roll, giving it a dirtier toxicity without losing the boisterous virulence which just hits the spot like a doppelganger to its counterpart.
The UK’s Lupen Tooth ignites the senses yet again straight after, the Bristol band grabbing the visceral punk of Hamburg’s Dr. Hell found in the track Carl The Metrosexual Werewolf to give it two minutes plus of their horror punk revelry, resulting in an insatiable slab of infection loaded rock ‘n’ roll. In the often rare climate of every track within a compilation being as equal in quality and invention as any other, bigger favourites did still arise with personal instincts, this one of them but persistently challenged with every listen by all with Silpha & The Corpseboners proving the fact with Go Psycho. The Stein/Nürnberg based three piece led by the temptress tones and presence of Silpha Obscura bring their bloodlusting horrorpunk trespass to the Motel Transylvania track. As ever, theirs is a sound with a glorious schizophrenic nature; sax and keys sultrily toying with jazzy intent as the band deconstruct and rebuild the track in their own devilish design to bewitch ears and imagination.
From one treat to another as we get a glimpse at label newcomers, Wanton next. Undead Artists is poised to release the Finnish band’s new album Harmageddon Get-Together in the near future. Censor This! is taken from that encounter, a psychobilly roar quickly taking body and spirit on a ruggedly tenacious and contagious romp. With a flavoursome spurt of punk in their caustically catchy sound and a vein of melodic temptation, the Rauma hailing band makes a thrilling introduction to label fans, one sure to incite plenty of anticipation for their second album.
The Bloodstrings get their song In Love With A Monster devoured and ignited again in their own way by Italian horror punks Cavaverman right after, the band blending English and their homeland tongue in a fiery and energetically rousing version luring air lashing limbs and aroused vocal chords as easily as the original.
The album is completed by Somewhere Under The Graveyard, the Jamey Rottencorpse and The Rising Dead anthem seized by a host of musicians from the Undead Artists Family and given their own seriously rousing punk and rock ‘n’ roll zeal. It is a riotous and fiercely enjoyable end to a release which not only has you bounding feverishly around the room but hungry to check out its occupants even closer.
Last year was a big and successful year for Undead Artists with Monster Mash-Up suggesting we and they have seen nothing yet.
Undead Artists Records Monster Mash-Up is released March 24th with pre-ordering, also for Limited Edition CDs and T-Shirts/CD packs, available now @ https://undeadartists.bandcamp.com/album/monster-mash-up-2
Pete RingMaster 07/03/2017
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