Stereo Terror: The Renfields – Go!

Release Year

Track Listing
1) Transylvania Fight Song
2) Machete A Go Go
3) Burning Revenge
4) Killer Klowns
5) Invisible Man
6) From Beyond
7) Porkchop
8) Ramones Zombie Massacre
9) The Last Man On Earth
10) Forbidden Planet
11) Night Of The Creeps
12) Halloween Night
13) Prom Night
14) Mars Attacks

The Renfields are one of those bands that have been around for a few years but have somehow managed to stay under the radar of many horrorpunk friends. I can distinctly remember downloading some of their albums onto my old computer and listening to them before that crap heap decided to die and leave me for some time with no computer. In the meantime the band has continued along and have now taken several of the songs from their prior releases and repurposed them for inclusion on their new release, which looks and acts as a “true” debut album for the band, entitled simply, Go!

Given that the band’s bio on their Facebook page indicates that the band has shambled out of Transylvania High, it seems only appropriate that the album begins with halftime pep rally leading into the aptly titled Transylvania Fight Song. It also gives you the first taste of what to expect if you have not heard any of the band’s previous albums. I feel like the best way to describe them is if The Ramones exclusively played songs about some of their favorite horror movies (and yes, I am aware that they have done horror-based songs), then you would know what to expect from The Renfields.

Scattered throughout the album are samples from the films which many of the songs are based on, and they are incorporated in a way that helps elevate the songs as opposed to serving as a distraction. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard a band that inserts samples from films and all it does is distract from the song itself, sometimes done so poorly that it ruins the song. Thankfully, none of that is the case on Go!. The band bounces around frequently with the era from which many of the songs are based on, a good example being the track Killer Klowns (obviously based on the cult classic 1988 film Killer Klowns From Outer Space) being followed up with Invisible Man, the band’s ode to the 1933 Claude Rains-starring film of the same name. Other films the band pays tribute to include The Burning, The Last Man On Earth, Halloween, and the always awesome Tom Atkins-starring Night Of The Creeps.

I should also note that out of the 14 songs included on the album, only two are not based specifically on horror films, with the aforementioned opening track serving as one, and the absolutely fun as hell Ramones Zombie Massacre serving as the other. If you are a fan of any of the three words in the song title, I can assure you that it is a near impossibility to not love the song. It also helps that it is wedged between Porkchop and The Last Man On Earth (which has a guitar riff throughout that reminds me heavily of Reach For The Sky by Social Distortion), two of the strongest tracks on the album.

But the clear cut best track on the album for me is From Beyond, based upon the Stuart Gordon directed adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story, all of the same name. When you decide to create a track based on one of the most beloved horror films of the 80s (by the more hardcore horror fan, at least) which is also based on a story by one of horror’s literary giants, you really have to go balls to the wall to make it work. So it’s a damned good thing that the band pulls it off with flying colors. The track jumps out at you right away, grabbing you by the throat and not letting the grip go until the ending sample of Jeffrey Combs dialogue. I have actually loved the song since I first heard it on one of the band’s previous albums, Stalk And Slash Splatterama Pt. 2: Exploitation Extravaganza. It also helps that it serves as the first part of the one-two punch of this and Porkchop, two songs that just seem tailor made to go together. It is honestly very rare that I will listen to one of the songs without the other to accompany it.

The Renfields have certainly put a lot of effort into Go! as it undoubtedly sounds better than any of the previous albums they released, and in a way almost serves as a “Greatest Hits” compilation for those new to the band, as well as longtime fans. If you get the chance, absolutely do not pass up Go! as it is a fun ride all the way throughout.

You can grab yourself a copy of Go! from the band’s Official Bandcamp page, and also be sure to give the band a like over on their Facebook page!

Killer Track
From Beyond

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