he idea of a ‘concept album’ has been really hit or miss in the horrorpunk genre, so I did have a few reservations when it was explained to me that the album is based around and serves as a tribute to the king of the b-movie gimmick, William Castle. For those of you unfamiliar with that name (and shame on you!) Castle was known for attaching gimmicks to coincide with the theatrical releases of his films, from having skeletons hanging in the theatre, to rigging the seats to vibrate during certain scenes.
4) Fright Break
5) Punishment Poll
While this will be the first time on The Deadhouse that we are covering Mummula, I did review their last album The Rise Of Mummula in a recent issue of HorrorHound so I had an idea of what to expect when given the opportunity to review their brand new release Castle Mummula. The idea of a ‘concept album’ has been really hit or miss in the horrorpunk genre, so I did have a few reservations when it was explained to me that the album is based around and serves as a tribute to the king of the b-movie gimmick, William Castle. For those of you unfamiliar with that name (and shame on you!) Castle was known for attaching gimmicks to coincide with the theatrical releases of his films, from having skeletons hanging in the theatre, to rigging the seats to vibrate during certain scenes. Given that I am a fan of both the band and Castle himself (I personally just purchased his biography Step Right Up! I’m Gonna Scare The Pants Off America: Memoirs Of A B-Movie Mogul although I have yet to get the opportunity to read it) I became very excited to finally sit down and listen to the album, so how does it pan out?
The band kicks the album off with “Emergo” which was the name of the gimmick for arguably Castle‘s greatest success, the Vincent Price classic The House On Haunted Hill. Blending the lyrics based around the film with the band’s horror surf sound works well, and the band shows the growth they have made over the past few albums they have recorded. I have mentioned in the past on the site that I am very particular with my preference towards the more ‘surf’ based sounds of the genre, and thankfully Mummula is one of those bands that don’t go too far in, mixing the surf influence into horrorpunk damned near perfectly.
The band moves through their tribute to The Tingler with “Percepto” serving as another catchy homage to the film in question. But it’s with “Illusiono” that the band is at their best. It’s the perfect storm when it comes to the vibe, the lyrics, and the sound. The way that the band lays out the lyrics in their tribute to Thirteen Ghosts allows the band to have a lot of fun with the song, and it’s without question one of the best songs in the band’s catalogue.
After a brief and appropriately titled “Fright Break” the band wraps up the album with “Punishment Poll” their take on the legendary Mr. Sardonicus. Taking a slightly slower approach then the rest of the album, everything I just wrote about “Illusiono” can very easily be applied to this track as well. Truthfully, I think the more laid-back sound is something that the band should seriously consider revisiting more often, as something with this track just grabs the listener. Of course using the film as inspiration may help everything about it, but this will be the track that I think most people will find themselves playing over and over.
Not to be outdone by themselves with just the audio tribute to Castle, the band has decided to go all-in on the physical aspects of the release as well. The release will include a mummified version of the “Punishment Poll” card that was given to audiences who attended the original release of Mr. Sardonicus! In addition to that little bonus, the vinyl copy of the album itself will be presented in “Illusiono” as red or blue ‘ghost viewer’ colors. The band clearly has a true passion and love for all of the gimmicks brought to us by Castle, and ensured that they are helping spread that love to the world.
Head on over to the Official Mummula Bandcamp page and grab yourself a copy of Castle Mummula soon, as the vinyl album is a limited release. 100 copies are available in the ‘Ghost Viewer Red’, 100 in the ‘Ghost Viewer Blue’ and finally 100 in regular old black. You will also receive a copy of the digital album, all for only $5, so you really can’t go wrong! And as always, head over to the Official Mummula Facebook page to give them a Like and stay up to date with the band!