If you have found the ground rumbling under foot in recent weeks, it is not the earth in rebellion but the dead rising to join the living in descending on the long and eagerly awaited second album from Romanian horror punk n’ rollers Raizing Hell. Providing devilish slices of graveyard boogie fuelled by punk rock attitude, Monsters Prefer Blondes is a carnivorous incitement from the crypt and quite irresistible.
Raizing Hell emerged in 2010, formed by vocalist/guitarist Liv Decay (ex-Howling Saints), guitarist Mr. Zombie, and drummer Oly Sinn. The line-up was soon completed by bassist Demented Vlash with the band laying down their live presence from 2011 and going on to share stages with the likes of Blitzkid, The Silver Shine, Tazmanian Devils, Fancy Dolls, The Argies, A Wilhelm Scream, Koffin Kats, Daily Noise Club, Orlok and the Rockin Ghouls, The Irradiates and many others over the years. Drawing on inspirations from bands such as Motorhead, The Plasmatics, Wendy O. Williams, Misfits, Nekromantix, Blitzkid, Demented Are Go, Horrorpops, and The Meteors, the Bucharest quartet soon evolved their own distinctive shade of horror punk which fuelled debut EP Psychoholics Unanimous in the December of that year and in turn provided a tasty part of the excellent Chainsaw Ballads split EP with UK bands Thirteen Shots and Trioxin Cherry via Psycho A Go-Go Records in 2013. First album Of Ghouls And Men was an even bigger attention grabber when released later that year; thirteen tracks which pushed the band into the full spotlight of the European horror punk and rock ‘n’ roll scene.
2014 saw Raizing Hell sign with the excellent Germany based label, Undead Artists Records, which quickly brought Of Ghouls And Men to a broader expanse of ears while last year the departure of Sinn, after the recording of their new album, brought the stick swinging corpse of Marky B. Morbid into the Raizing Hell mausoleum. Unleashing Monsters Prefer Blondes a couple of weeks back, Raizing Hell has not only provided a bigger and bolder slab of their horror gripped sound but also brought a real feel of their live energy and aggression to the recording and presence of the album. At times it borders on predatory and throughout is a constant blaze of contagious intensity coated with the organic rawness so many bands only manage to create on stage.
It all starts with I Like It Wrong and the resonating hefty beats of Sinn. Swiftly they are joined by tangy grooves with a hint of blues toxicity to their invitation. The distinctive tones of Decay are soon adding their dark flirtation and defiance to the mix too, her snarl climbing all over the virulent contagion of the hooks and grooves which are still working their temptation. It is a potent slab of rock ‘n’ roll with maybe few surprises yet making up for it with heart and attitude before Sold My Soul For Rock ‘N’ Roll saunters in with its punk ’n’ roll incitement. There is a touch of In Evil Hour to the song, an irritable hue which adds to the great blend of melodic enterprise and the grouchy snarling of voice and sound.
Two songs in and already it is easy to hear the fresh blossoming of the qualities and craft the band had already shown and the maturity and realisation of potential found in previous releases. I Am The Damned is quick confirmation as it eclipses its predecessors with its psychobilly swagger and flirtatious hooks. Vlash’s bass reveals its most cantankerous growl yet as it stalks the swinging lures of guitar and beats, a bestial essence echoing the edge in Decay’s otherwise clean and infectious tones.
Time Of A Killer Flies brings some delta blues scented enterprise to its robust and fiery body next whilst This Is It flirts with garage rock ‘n’ roll as it prowls of the senses to echo the creature crawling within its sci-fi themed narrative. As usual, Raizing Hell draw most on horror movies and dark tales for the lyrical seeds of the album, very often crafting their sound to echo and reflect the actions of the protagonists within their stories and here turning that first wave of stalking into a rabid devouring of ears and appetite by its finale.
Through the sultry Django-esque climate and landscape of The Sun Is Down, the band has the imagination as forcibly involved as the body whilst Dead Girls Don’t Cry kicks up a feisty stomp with its punk rock. The dark harmonies and lone whistling within the first of the two simply adds to a compelling theatre of guitar and rhythms while a tinge of folkish temptation lines the spicy veining of the second to similarly magnetic effect. Both are further examples of the new adventure and imagination in the band’s songwriting and sound, laying down new pinnacles within the album for a success soon matched by the smoky dark seduction of Trouble where Decay is the kind of temptress you know you should escape but cannot resist.
I’m Not A Monster is a grizzly stomp of an encounter; one again maybe feeding expectations a touch but with a chorus impossible not to join in on as the body bounces throughout, it matters little as it leads ears to the equally captivating antagonism of I’m Not Evil (I’m Just Bad). The next song is appetite pleasing punkabilly with a whiff of Trioxin Cherry meets Midnight Mob to its thick pleasure giving; another energy rousing persuasion more than matched by both the excellent old school punk infested Braindead, a track spinning a web of punk and horror rock strands from recent decades, and Killing Time. The last of the pair is the kind of romp which has the feet engaged almost before ears; commanding body and attention with scything rhythms and punchy riffs as the band vocally rouses the spirit.
Monsters Prefer Blondes is completed by its title track, a predacious tango again aligning an array of punk rock with further instinctive rock ‘n’ roll diversity. We always like an album to end on a bang, and this anthemic infestation of ears and the passions certainly provides. As for Monsters Prefer Blondes the album, it provides a rich and thoroughly enjoyable blood soaked rebel rousing with adventure and creative fun. It is high time that Raizing Hell is recognised by the broadest rock ‘n’ roll spotlights; this album just might be the key lure. If not it is only a matter of time.
Monsters Prefer Blondes is out now via Undead Artists @ https://undeadartists.bandcamp.com/album/monsters-prefer-blondes
Pete RingMaster 10/05/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com