2) Wake The Dead
5) Sour Ground
6) Grizzly Murders
7) Pumpkin Song
8) 976 Evil
Hailing from the home of the insanely popular The Walking Dead, good ol’ Atlanta, Georgia, comes Fifty Two Ways, horrorpunk by way of pop punk. Established back in 2007, Fifty Two Ways has been a band I’ve heard a bit about here and there over the last few years, but until the recent release of Wake The Dead I have unfortunately not been able to check them out. Given what I’ve heard from the 8 tracks on Wake The Dead (I don’t include the Intro skit nor the continuation of the skit in Outro as full tracks) I now consider that a grave mistake. The band, currently listed as featuring Hoax on lead vocals and bass and Kasper on guitar, takes their love of horrorpunk and blends it with a genre that will certainly divide many fans, that being poppy punk.
Starting with a humorous skit about the band trying to, well, wake the dead Frankenstein style. At just over a minute, the skit is perfectly timed with the humor being the exact type that lends itself well to the types of horror fans likely to seek out this album. It also flows perfectly into the real opening track, which is also the title track. This is where you get your first real taste of the style that Fifty Two Ways is honing. If the subject matter wasn’t horror based, this is the type of music that you would absolutely hear on the radio wedged between bands like blink-182 and Sum 41. What I find most interesting is that I have never really been a fan of the poppy punk style, but Fifty Two Ways makes it work. Since I received the album a few weeks ago, I have had it on constant rotation.
With Nada, the band pays tribute to the greatest film role of the late, great “Rowdy” Roddy Piper which is also interesting given that on the previous track, Insufferable they make reference in the lyrics to being a wrestling superstar. So the band is now mixing pro wrestling with horror…..it’s almost like the music is made for a guy like me directly. Other than Nada, the band also has songs about some other great 80’s horror movies, like Pet Sematary with Sour Ground and the Robert Englund directed 976-Evil which is definitely one of those flicks I never expected to hear a horrorpunk track about.
Closing with an ode to Dr. Frankenstein’s original sidekick, Fritz the band ends an album full of pop-punk based horrorpunk, with a damned near impossible to hate track all about the under-loved Fritz character from the original 1931 Frankenstein. It works as a lead-in to the Outro track which follows up on the band’s intention to well, wake the dead. Ending on a humorous note, the band certainly leaves you wanting more, and I know that I for one will be keeping a close eye on any future releases from Fifty Two Ways. Does the band reinvent the wheel in any way? Not really, but you can’t fault any band that blasts you with 8 tracks of fun and awesome punk music with a love of horror.