1) Turns To Ash (Intro)
3) Black Mass
5) Drag Me To Hell (feat. Jess-O-Lantern)
6) Gods Of Deceit
7) Everything Dies Pt. II
9) Making Monsters
11) In The Rain (feat. Rob Dead)
12) Jacki Is A Creep
13) Just Like Us
My first encounter with The Bastards was back in 2015 during my days writing music as Robb Goblin. We both had a track on the first volume of the Songs For Samhain compilation series, and I was immediately floored by their musical prowess. When a genre like acoustic horror punk is so minuscule, it’s surprising when a duo like The Bastards comes along and writes these incredibly unique and riveting tunes.
According to their Facebook page, The Bastards – featuring D.C. Disaster on vocals and Jimmy Moon on guitars – have been developing their signature sound since 2008. Layers of melodic picking and chords, and D.C.’s haunting wails create a soundscape so impressive that I often find myself hearing new things each time I listen to their music. And now, with their second installment of Out Of The Grave, I can safely say these guys are at the top of their game.
Out Of The Grave Part II picks up where the first album left off in February of 2016, but with a noticeable difference. In only a little over a year, these two have managed to climb to new heights without shedding any of their trademark qualities. Audio sampling, layered vocals, and multiple guitars are all still present here, but The Bastards are like a fine wine that keeps getting better with age. The songwriting from front to back on this album is extraordinarily well done. At no point did I feel like I was listening to any filler tracks or any songs that didn’t fit the bill, and the album finishes on an incredibly strong note with their anthemic song, “Just Like Us”. The ambiance these two can create with only an acoustic guitar and some audio snippets is second to none.
This review would be incomplete without me mentioning that fellow acoustic horror punk artist, Jess-O-Lantern, and myself had the honor of adding our own personal touches to two of the songs on the album. Jess’s voice in “Drag Me To Hell” seems perfectly in place juxtaposed with D.C.’s and adds a whole other layer to the quality of the song. In fact, I would hope that this isn’t her only appearance on a Bastards track since their vocals mesh so well together. As for myself, I got the opportunity to play piano on the song, “In The Rain”, which is admittedly one of my favorites on the album – not because I’m on it, but because it’s such an ideal projection of what The Bastards are capable of writing.
What draws me to their music the most, however, is the heaviness of it. Not heaviness as in down-tuned guitars and guttural screams, but the environment they build in each track. For me, it’s somewhere between hopeful nostalgia and rainy days. This is music I listen to when the sky’s opening up outside and I’m stuck indoors reading or writing or anything else. There’s an elegant darkness to their sound, and it’s a sound I’ve gotten to witness the development of since 2015.
Until next time, children of the night.
~ Rob Dead