1) Wolfman Chuck And The Spookalele Of Doom – Babe In Blue
2) Robb Goblin – Late-Night Exhuming
3) Afterlife Love Machine – Afterlife Love Machine
4) Wolfman Chuck And The Spookalele Of Doom – Casket Caress
5) Robb Goblin – Monday Morning Of The Living Dead
6) Afterlife Love Machine – It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
7) Wolfman Chuck And The Spookalele Of Doom – Mango Tree
8) Robb Goblin – The Devil Is Pleased
9) Afterlife Love Machine – Not Rape If She Is Dead
Long time readers of this site may recall the name of Wolfman Chuck. Armed with his trusty “Spookalele of Doom”, Chuck has been mixing horrorpunk with ukulele based tunes for quite some time now. You can actually check out our Stereo Terror review of Bitch Boy from 2014. Since then our friendly resident Wolfman has been doing all he can to tirelessly promote the genre we all love and doing his best to introduce the world to new bands that may not have the exposure at the level that many of our favorite genre acts have. Thus began the “Wolfman Chuck Meets” series. Doing a number of split albums with one or two different bands to help promote not only new music from the Wolfman himself, but to help spread the word and get more horrorpunk based and influenced bands out there. Being that I immediately became a fan of Chuck when I did review Bitch Boy back at the end of 2014, I was thrilled and honored when he came to me to discuss a review to help promote not only the specific album that he chose for review, but for the whole “Wolfman Chuck Meets” series.
As for why Chuck presented this specific album for review, I do not want to speculate. It could be that he felt this was one of the stronger releases, or it may be due to the fact that this particular split is one of only two (at least that I am able to see at the time of this writing) that features two additional bands instead of just one. One of the more interesting things for me as both a listener and reviewer is being exposed to two new bands I knew nothing about mixed in with an artist whose style and music have turned me into a longtime fan. So without further ado, let us jump into the crazy world of Wolfman Chuck And The Spookalele Of Doom, and get our first exposure to both Robb Goblin and Afterlife Love Machine who have tagged along on this particular project.
Babe In Blue opens the album, and it is classic Wolfman Chuck. If you are familiar with his work then it is nothing new, but if this is your first exposure, it works as a great introduction not only to the album, but to the artist. Late-Night Exhuming follows and is our first taste of Robb Goblin on the album. For me, this was also my introduction to the artist, and it is a fantastic track. I can say with no hesitation that Robb Goblin absolutely belongs with Wolfman Chuck, The Mutant Members Only Club and The Bastards as the strongpoints of acoustic horrorpunk. Afterlife Love Machine comes next with their titular track, Afterlife Love Machine. Something about this track seems to be off in my estimation. Its by no means a bad track, and it is very stripped down (as in it sounds like this was recorded right onto a YouTube video then ripped for this album). There is undoubtedly talent and promise included, but again, something about the track just seems off.
We go back to Wolfman Chuck And The Spookalele Of Doom for Casket Caress. While not necessarily the strongest track in the Wolfman‘s catalogue, it is still a decent track. Much like many of the tracks on this compilation, it is very stripped down, but by the time the track hits its halfway point, you can’t help but love the idea of the man jumping into a casket to have a little fun. We return to Robb Goblin for Monday Morning Of The Living Dead, which I immediately wished was titled for Sunday morning to think of it is a sequel to the awesome Calabrese track Saturday Night Of The Living Dead. That aside, this track continues to have me become a big fan of Goblin and his style. Returning to Afterlife Love Machine, the band presents It Doesn’t Matter Anymore which is a stronger track than their previous entry on the album. While still very stripped down and bare like their first song, this one seems to work better and shows growth and more likely to pull fans in.
Mango Tree from Wolfman Chuck serves as the final Spookalele track on this album and while not as immediately humorous or offensive as Casket Caress, the lyrics are sure to offend some….and I mean that in the best way. Again, it may not be the best Wolfman Chuck track around, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I had a huge smile on my face by the time the track ended. The Devil Is Pleased comes as the last Robb Goblin track, and begins with a good ol’ horror movie sample, helping it stand out from the other tracks on the album. The song itself is another decent acoustic styled horrorpunk track, and while nothing stands out about it, nothing takes it down either. Finally, we come to the perfectly titled track Not Rape If She Is Dead from Afterlife Love Machine. Another improvement on the band’s other included tracks, it’s a fine little track to close the album. The track listing could have been shuffled a little bit to not have this be the final track, but the order is set in a certain way to give you a taste of each band in order. Not Rape If She Is Dead could be a little longer, but with some better production values in the future, I could see this track becoming more of a staple for Afterlife Love Machine than their titular track, which is obviously intended as the track to bring new fans in.
Overall, this album is certainly an interesting venture. Seeing what Wolfman Chuck is doing to help spread the word on not only his particular style, but bringing along other bands who may not get the exposure without him is absolutely a great thing to see. For the most part, the “horrorpunk scene” is one that serves 95% of the time as a big family, with the exception of some unneeded drama that pops up every now and then. Without this album, I guarantee I would not be familiar with either Robb Goblin or Afterlife Love Machine at this point in time, so based on that alone you have to love the wonderfully bearded Chuck (on a serious note, Chuck is one of the nicest dudes I’ve met in my time running The Deadhouse. He is truly the type of guy who has an insane love for the genre, and his efforts should never be discounted).
While some of the tracks may not hit the mark for me, that isn’t to say that something about each track could potentially be the thing that pulls you in on any of the three artists included on this compilation. So make sure you head over to the Ukulele Horror BandCamp page and grab yourself a copy. The album is available on the “Name Your Price Buy” option, so you really have no excuse not to give it a download and check out some artists that are working hard to make music in the genre we all love with a twist.
Robb Goblin – Late-Night Exhuming