Stereo Terror: Jess-O-Lantern – Bare Bones

Release Year

Track Listing
1) My Ghouls
2) I Don’t Wanna Be A Deadite
3) The Ghastly Ones
4) Stitched Lips
5) Crawl
6) Courtship Of The Jersey Devil
7) Haunted
8) The Graveyard Song
9) Lullaby For A Monster
10) Dear Norman

Earlier this year, I took a look at the 2016 release from the lovely and talented Jess-O-Lantern, Rest In Pumpkins (check out the Stereo Terror review here) so I was absolutely thrilled to get an advanced look at her new album, the appropriately titled Bare Bones. As Jess herself informed me, this was a full return to basics, with the album consisting of just her and her guitar, making the album feel more authentic to her style and live performances. On the eve of her new tour with fellow horrorpunks Devil In The Belfry, which you can check the tour dates at the bottom of the review.

The album begins with “My Ghouls” which continues the style she has established through her many demos and the aforementioned Rest In Pumpkins. Things really pick up with the Evil Dead inspired “I Don’t Wanna Be A Deadite.” The use of the a sample from the film in the songs intro is masterfully put together and sets a mood for the song. If you aren’t in love with Jess-O-Lantern by the end of this one, I don’t know what to tell you. “The Ghastly Ones” is another great laid back track that lends itself well to the stripped down style, all while being a great calling card for any horrorpunk loving fiend.

The album continues driving through with Lantern‘s voice and acoustic guitar ruling the day when the excellent “The Courtship Of The Jersey Devil” hits. While she originally hails from Florida, her home base has been New York City and the surrounding area for a while now, leading to it making perfect sense to sing about the mythical Jersey Devil. Following the solid “Haunted” the album seemingly moves into a place where we get the absolute best songs of Lantern‘s career.

“The Graveyard Song” is an insanely catchy song that almost has no business being this good and full sounding despite, once again just like every other song on this album, just the guitar and vocals. Leading into a tribute to the immortal Bride Of Frankenstein “Lullaby For A Monster” takes the Monster’s final words and turns it into a great hook. Finally the album ends with a beautiful ballad tribute to everyone’s psychotic motel owner with “Dear Norman.” Taking a bit of a different twist on the song, making it a love song gives it a refreshing feel, and it’s a wonderful way to end the album.

The decision to make the album feel more true to the style of her live show, Jess-O-Lantern has truly found her groove with Bare Bones. I can’t say what will come with the future, but I really believe this will be considered the landmark album of her career….but that could easily change with the next release. As it stands, Bare Bones is a beautiful album that shows even in the horror scene, sometimes all you need is a love of horror and some raw talent to create something beautiful.

You can grab your copy of Bare Bones at the Official Jess-O-Lantern BandCamp page and be sure to give a Like over on the Jess-O-Lantern Facebook page to stay up to date. Also, make sure you check out the tour dates below for the Wandering Souls tour with Devil In The Belfry!

Killer Track
“The Graveyard Song”


Jess-O-Lantern is not performing on the 9/2 Date.

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