2) Bad Tales
4) Skeleton Dance
6) I Won’t Pay For Sex With Rotten Bitches
7) Alien Invasion
9) Carl The Metrosexual Werewolf
10) Poison Cabinet
True story: It can be hard as a horrorpunk fan who also has a dislike for the psychobilly genre. While there are certainly bands that can work it into their favor, the vast majority sound very similar which is one of my gripes with the subgenre. Given what I am attempting to accomplish with this site and as it expands, this can be a double-edged sword. Having been contacted by bands asking for reviews, especially ones I may not have been familiar with beforehand, it becomes a little worrisome as I always want to give every band a fair shake without letting my pre-conceived notion come into play. What does this have to do with anything? Well, many psychobilly bands come out of Europe, and I was recently contacted by the band Dr. Hell with regards to a possible review on the site. Coming from Germany, home of many psychobilly-tinged bands, I was unsure what to expect.
Imagine my surprise when I got a wicked album full of the band’s self-proclaimed “bloody punk rock”. And bloody it is. In a year full of great horrorpunk releases Drunken Zombies comes at you and rips a chunk from your unsuspecting throat. You get a short intro, followed by 10 blistering punk rock songs with the macabre lyrics we’ve all grown to love in the genre.
If I had to try and compare Dr. Hell to another band, it would definitely have to be Dr. Geek And The Freakshow. Without a doubt, these bands must have gotten their doctorate from the same university, perhaps it was Miskatonic University? (If you get that reference I love you) But just simply comparing band would be doing a disservice to Dr. Hell and the wicked album they’ve thrown together.
As I already mentioned, we get a short intro which segues right into Bad Tales. A melodic slice of deliciousness, the band’s guitar work is infectious and perfectly complements the rough vocals. Now unlike most bands that have a rougher style of vocals, they perfectly straddle that line between melody and harshness. Crazies takes the melody to the next level, and between the first two songs you get a solid idea of what you are in for. Skeleton Dance and Zombietime keep the unrelenting pace moving into one of the absolute highlights of the album, if only for its title alone.
I Won’t Pay For Sex With Rotten Bitches shows the sometimes underutilized humor that can make the genre so much fun. It definitely helps that the song rocks, possibly being the most melodic tune thus far, and if you don’t want to be at a concert shouting the chorus along you aren’t the type of person I care to know.
Alien Invasion comes next and takes it down a bit before the utterly infectious GGG. GGG is all about being a horrorpunk fan, and could definitely become a bit of an anthem for horrorpunk fans everywhere. Then we get another song that has the same attributes as Rotten Bitches in Carl The Metrosexual Werewolf. An awesome tune with a wicked funny title, and another highlight of the album.
After four songs with three gems it’s hard for the final two songs to measure up, but they are by no means bad songs. Poison Cabinet and Nightmares without a doubt close the album out nicely, despite not being as strong as the middle chunk of the album.
While I listen to many albums as I review for the site, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the albums after my initial few review listens, but this is one that will be rocking on for some quite time. In a year where two EPs from Shadow Windhawk and the Morticians and The Casket Creatures were super strong, Drunken Zombies goes right up there. At this point, I have to call it the best full-length horrorpunk album released so far this year. 2014 has been good to us so far horrorpunks, and we are only 4 months in.
I Won’t Pay For Sex With Rotten Bitches