1) March Of Godzilla
2) Game Of Death
3) Rosemary’s Baby
4) Plan 9
5) Tree Rape
6) Epic Experiment
Hailing from the rather non-horrific burg that is Staten Island, Gamma Ghouls are a three-piece horrorpunk band starting to make waves within our beloved genre. Containing the talents of vocalist/guitarist Ben Starr, bassist Jamie Crispino and drummer Peter Grancio (it should be noted that while Grancio is the current drummer, all the drum tracks on the album were recorded by Stephen Ariaudo), the band released their first “Demo” in April of 2014, but it has just recently come to the attention of The Deadhouse, and it’s safe to say I am kicking myself for not discovering it earlier.
Kicking off the 7-song demo is the instrumental March Of Godzilla which will undoubtedly remind me any Misfits fan of Kong At The Gates and Kong Unleashed from the epic Famous Monsters LP. From the instrumental track the band jumps right out of your speakers with Game Of Death. While not exactly common fodder for a horrorpunk tune, it works as the true intro to the demo, and sets the stage of what to expect from the band, which is hard, in-your-face punk rock with a horrific tinge. And this style continues with the band’s ode to the 1968 Roman Polanski directed classic Rosemary’s Baby. Taking away the controversy around Polanski over the years, Rosemary’s Baby is a damned near perfect film, and I will automatically love anything related to it. Thankfully, the band does well with the track.
Going from one of the most perfect films of all-time to one of the absolute worst, the band next pays audio tribute to the 1959 Ed Wood disasterpiece, Plan 9 From Outer Space. The band kills it on this fast paced track anchored by the gang-chorus shouting of Plan 9. The transition from the end of Plan 9 into Tree Rape (I really should not have to spell out what movie the band took the influence from for this one, do I?) is one of the best track-to-track transitions I can think of in recent memory. The bass line that starts the song is absolutely awesome. The band then moves on to a tale of an Epic Experiment, a tribute to all the mad scientists the horror genre has seen over the years. Once again, fast and melodic is the name of the game, and I can’t stress enough how well the vocals of frontman Ben Starr work with the sound. Just phenomenal.
Closing the demo is my pick for the track that you need to show your friends that you want to become fans of the band, Pennywise. Paying tribute to the “Eater of Worlds” best immortalized by the performance of Tim Curry in the 1990 TV miniseries, Pennywise is 2 minutes and 40 seconds of pure audio bliss. To be honest, from the first time I listened to the demo, this was the song that stood out, and I truly can’t put my finger on what exactly it is about the song that makes it my favorite, but everything about the track just works for me. Perfect choice to end the demo with, leaving you hypnotized by the “dead lights”.
At this point, this seems to be the only release from Gamma Ghouls, but I have spoken with bassist Jamie Crispino who has informed me that the band is currently working on their first full-length album. And you can be damned sure when it comes out you will be hearing more about it here on The Deadhouse! You can grab your copy of the “2014 Demo” from the band’s Official BandCamp page with the “Name Your Price” option, and be sure to like the band on their Facebook page to stay up to date with them.