1) Shine The Signal
2) We Own This Town
3) Lovers’ Lane Murders
4) Out Of The Morgue
5) Shadowbrook Road
7) Maniac Mansion
8) Inside The Vial
9) Lost In The Night
10) Seeking Souls
2014 has been an incredible year for horrorpunks. We’ve had new releases from the likes of Shadow Windhawk And The Morticians, The Casket Creatures, Black Cat Attack, Dr. Hell and Beneath The Cellar, as well as many others. Then there was the unveiling of the revamped Silent Horror as the new project of Argyle Goolsby which took the whole scene by storm. And now, another great band from West Virginia have returned with a new album, The Big Bad!
I first discovered The Big Bad when they released a split album with the previously mentioned Argyle Goolsby. Since then I have made sure to always keep an eye on what they were up to as I truly believe they are one of the best bands in the genre today. From their first album After Dark and right through 2013’s See You In The Shadows, they have perfectly blended the horrorpunk sound with an almost poppy-sensibility that is hard to resist. Now, with their Horrorhound Records they debut, the band has released a new self-titled album. The question of course is whether or not they would be able to keep the momentum going from their previous releases and run with it.
The band wastes absolutely no time bursting through the gates with the infectious Shine The Signal. With a hook of “The airwaves belong to the living dead” you know you are being taken on a rollicking good time with a band who knows and loves horrorpunk well. We Own This Town and Lovers’ Lane Murders continue with the band’s signature sound, not afraid to bring in whatever they need to do to make the song better, like the saxophone accompaniment in We Own This Town.
Out Of The Morgue was the first track released to help hype the album, and it was a damned fine choice. It helps spotlight the band at their finest, which is when they are fast and heavy, yet melodic all at the same time. The epic Shadowbrook Road follows, a great track about one of the most beloved films in the genre, yet forgotten about outside of it, Fred Dekker’s The Monster Squad. The song stands out to me on this release as the strongest track, and I can honestly say that I may be a little biased due to my love of the film the song pays tribute to, but the music is just damned solid, and it’s a perfect example of the band’s sound meshing together with singer Zackula Von Nasty‘s vocals.
With R’lyeh the band takes inspiration from the almighty H.P. Lovecraft, and there are very few times that using Lovecraft as inspiration doesn’t give us something awesome, and this is no exception. To be honest, outside of anything that involves Stuart Gordon (the director of horror classics Re-Animator and From Beyond) this may be my favorite Lovecraft related piece in years. Seriously, how can you not love an ode to the famous lost city from The Call Of Cthulhu. From one end of the inspiration spectrum to another, the band hits us with Maniac Mansion. If you cannot see yourself screaming the chorus along with the band at a live show, you have no (undead) soul.
Looking to the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel, we get the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde based Inside The Vial. Once again it showcases a fast and melodic style, a trademark of the band. The band slows things down for Lost In The Night, the prerequisite ballad that just about every album needs. Thankfully, the song stands out due to solid parts from all the band members, guitarist Dee Kayed, bassist Colonel Cuttingham and drummer Necro Nate. What takes the ballad to another level however is the previously mentioned vocals from Zackula, as well as the inclusion of the sax from Wolfman Jack who also handles the keys for the band.
The album closes with Seeking Souls, which picks the pace back up to send the album out on a high note. If you aren’t feeling the need to go out and help seek some souls for the master, then you sure as hell aren’t living right.
With their self-titled Horrorhound Records debut, The Big Bad have announced themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the horrorpunk genre. Since I first discovered the band with the release of their split with Argyle Goolsby, they have quickly become one of my favorite bands, and I think it is safe to say, that once you give the band a shot, they will be one of yours as well.