1) Spooky’s Lunchbox
3) Do You Know?
4) Freak Show
5) House Of Dolls
It’s no secret that the punk genre has a litany of different sub-genres. You have everything from your traditional punk, to pop punk, to rockabilly, to hardcore punk. But when you take a look more at the “horror” side of the genre, there isn’t really a lot of offshoots. For the most part you have your standard horrorpunk, and then horrorbilly/psychobilly. Without a doubt one sub-genre that almost never gets touched by the dark side is ska. Honestly, up until today the only band you could qualify as “horror ska” was the little known band Bad Ash, who released only one album (to my knowledge at least) called Boating Accident, which was six songs of just great fun horror-based fun. However, today a band called Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunch Box was brought to my attention thanks to horror-centric indie label Graveyard Calling. So the question remains, does the barely used horror ska genre have a good reason for lying dormant for so long?
The short EP begins with a musical intro as most albums do nowadays, before seguing into the first real track, Aliens. Right off the hop you get the traditional ska sound with horns blaring along to the creepily odd beat. As I have mentioned in reviews previously, vocals are a thing that can make or break a band for me, especially considering how many horrorpunk bands take their vocal styles from the psychobilly genre which usually ruins many albums, for me at least. Thankfully the vocals do not lean in that direction, which immediately gets a pass from me. The vocals do blend well with the music, something that also can be an issue for many bands, where sometimes it seems like the vocal track has been blended over the music and just sounds odd, not meshing at all.
The middle of the EP hits with Do You Know? which continues the same style from the previous track but aside from some spoken word parts, completely forgoes vocals just as the intro did. The song does move wonderfully into Freak Show, undoubtedly the strongest track on the album. It’s hard to describe the track in words, it’s just a fun tune that gives you the feeling of being at a titular freak show. I can say I would happily listen to a full length album of tracks just like this without giving it a second guess.
The album closes with House Of Dolls which begins with some key work and once again continues the excellent blending of ska elements with a darker theme. It’s another fun track that definitely goes along well with the full album, and is incredibly close to being as strong a track as Freak Show, but something about the latter just resonated more with me.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with these 15 minutes of goodness. Like I said at the beginning of the review, the ska sub-genre is very rarely done at all in the confines of horror-based music, so hearing it done right is fantastic. Graveyard Calling is actually offering a copy of the EP on an old fashioned cassette tape for a low price, so how could you go wrong?