Though horror punk is never slow in providing new excursions to venture six feet under with, of which many bring great memorable pleasure, there have not been quite so many in recent times to truly get the teeth into with sanguinary lustfulness. The Scabby Ghouls and their self-titled debut album is one such incitement, a collection of pulp horror driven devilry to bless any meeting of The Monster Club.
Hailing from Omaha, The Scabby Ghouls have dug up a sound as pop contagious as it is horror bloodied and punk driven; a mixture which if not on the major side of unique is fully immersed in the fresh and irresistible within their first full-length.
The album claws out from its mausoleum with opener Body Surfin’, immediately enveloping ears in dark mischief carrying drama as guitar lures mix with the voluptuous throb of the bass. The rolling beats of Nathan Christensen swiftly join and steer the incursion on ears and imagination as too the instantly alluring tones of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Denise Hazard. In no time the web of temptation becomes an appetite embroiling bedlam of creative mania entangled in the equally unhinged grooves and wires of guitarist Louie Hazard. Like a disembodied hand haunting Christopher Lee, the song stalks and fingers with increasing relish and like the big white lingering below its surface has no qualm about taking a more than welcome bite.
The great start is only escalated by the song named after the band. It too prowls the listener, checking them out before springing to its bold feet and instantly indulging in a rapacious saunter. With an essence which reminds of UK outfit Trioxin Cherry at times, the track is equipped with inescapable hooks and teasing riffs matched in temptation by vocals and the great throbbing bait escaping Alex Steffens’ bass. It all comes with a feral lining which is even more pronounced in next up Midwest Zombies, yet a raw wildness which only seems to enhance the instinctive virulence and catchiness of tracks let alone the individual prowess of the quartet.
Black Dahlia Bombshell is next up and soon eclipses its predecessor with its blood-lusting stalking and the subsequent rousing incitement of its viscera driven chorus. The track is pure horror punk wickedness resembling something inspired by the song books of early Misfits and Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13 but quickly established as individual to The Scabby Ghouls before Dreaddy Krueger unleashes its own viral sonic blood-letting shaped by inescapable infernal hooks, rapacious riffs, and rhythms which twist the body like a puppet.
As potent and manipulative as both songs are, their ability to trespass and make the body do their bidding pales to the dexterity of the EP’s final and best tracks. Road Ragin’ is simply glorious, an insatiable surge of tarmac tearing, contagion loaded rock ‘n’ roll with a chorus which infests vocal chords within its first few words. The incitement musically is just as devious and enslaving while album closer, Knife Fight, is an old school punk nurtured holler taking in all-comers with voracious irritability to its infection loaded rumble.
Anticipation for the next endeavour from a band is nothing new or particularly rare but not often it comes with a side line of drool like that already escaping the wait for the next spook animated horror show from The Scabby Ghouls.
The Scabby Ghouls album is out now via Out-O-Tune Records; available @ https://thescabbyghouls.bandcamp.com/album/the-scabby-ghouls
Pete RingMaster 21/03/2019
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