1) And Now The Screaming Starts
2) Black Lagoon
3) They Crawl
4) Scared To Death
5) Night Of The Creeps
6) No Pain No Gein
7) Beware The Moon
8) Session 9
9) Die! Die! Die!
If you have spent an even moderately reasonable time here at The Deadhouse and read any of the Stereo Terror reviews, I am sure you have seen me voice my general distaste for the psychobilly genre. While a good chunk of horror-based bands do lean to having psychobilly tendencies, there are just as many that do not. Another sub-genre that I have had an issue bringing myself to like is “surf” music. Much like psychobilly, it’s a very back and forth thing for me. It has to really grab my attention and ears if I am going to dig it. When I was contacted by Graveyard Calling about possibly reviewing a few albums, they were described to me as a horror-ska band (which was of course Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunch Box, which you can find a review of here) and a surfabilly band. While I was admittedly a little hesitant on the genre, I will always give a new band a shot.
So that brings me to Day Of Demoni by Demoni. Right off the hop with the ridiculously catchy And Now The Screaming Starts the album feels fresh while also hitting every genre staple that it needs to. I believe that starting with And Now The Screaming Starts was a great move on the band’s part, as it serves as a wonderful introduction to the band and their style of horrorpunk, while also being arguably the most accessible song on the album. Moving on to the instrumental Black Lagoon the band keeps this momentum going right into another catchy tune in They Crawl. Call me crazy but listening to the song all I could think of was the “They’re Creeping Up On You” segment from the 1982 classic Creepshow.
The band opts to head back to the instrumental territory once again with Scared To Death leading right into Night Of The Creeps. I openly admit I had high hopes for this song going in as Night Of The Creeps is one of my absolute favorite movies of all-time. While it is not as great as And Now The Screaming Starts it definitely is a standout track, and I love the fact that they incorporated the “Screaming like Banshees!” line into the lyrics. No Pain No Gein hits next, with its ode to the Plainfield Butcher, who is of course the famous inspiration for so many iconic horror characters like Norman Bates from Psycho, Leatherface from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Buffalo Bill from Silence Of The Lambs. Continuing the heavy momentum that carries throughout the album, it is another strong track which leads into Beware The Moon, another quick paced chunk of surfy goodness.
As the album reaches its end the band presents us with Session 9, the final instrumental track of the album. After so many back to back songs full of great vocals, I was a little disappointed in yet another instrumental, and honestly, I was kind of intrigued by the idea of where the lyrics could have gone using the 2001 film of the same name as inspiration. The album closes with Die! Die! Die! which is the closest the album gets to slowing down the tempo just a bit, at least for the intro section before it jumps back up to speed. The song is mostly an instrumental with the exception of a few gang shouts of DIE!. It is a good way to close the album, but I feel since the first half of the album jumped back and forth between instrumentals and full songs, the latter half would have benefitted from the same consistency. Overall though, this is a minor gripe, as the album does a solid job of rocking your face off with its take on horror surf.
I have to say that the album was a pleasant surprise for me, given that I went into it with a slight bias against the music style, but Demoni really make it work. There is no reinvention of the wheel by any means, but the band knows what they can do, and they do it damned well.
You can grab yourself a limited edition cassette tape of the album at the Graveyard Calling
And Now The Screaming Starts