The Deadhouse

Stereo Terror: Sematary Spawn – Music For Maniacs Vol. 1 EP

Release Year
2018

Track Listing
1) Lycanimator
2) Exorcism Of The Dead
3) You Can’t Take It With You
4) Payback’s A Beast
5) Critical Mass

I’d like to preface this review with a quick and interesting tale from my childhood. I used to live next door to a DJ for the local rock station who used to give me CDs every now and then. It was through her that I discovered many bands, including Soundgarden. But the very first album she ever gave me was Starry by pop-punk trio The Killjoys. I used to rock the hell out of that album in my youth. Fast forward over 20 years later, and what should come across my desk for review but an album by Mike Trebilcock, who just happened to be the front man for The Killjoys. This really has no bearing on the review itself, but an interesting anecdote about how weird life can be sometimes. But enough about that, let’s talk about Sematary Spawn, the name Trebilcock uses as he creates theme songs for different low budget horror flicks, and what a hell of a way that he goes about it. Do you ever miss those old incredible 80s slasher movie soundtracks that somehow have gone onto live a life of their own, like Dokken doing “Dream Warriors” for A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 3: The Dream Warriors, or hell, the entirety of what I still consider the best movie soundtrack in existence, Return Of The Living Dead. Well fiends and ghouls, you are not alone. Sematary Spawn takes us back almost to a moment in time when these types of albums and theme songs were the norm, and does one hell of a job in doing so.

The album begins with “Lycanimator”, appropriately created for the film of the same name. A chugging guitar riff drives this one with almost gang-like vocals. It’s one hell of an intro, and really gets the listener ready for what’s coming. And what is coming is “Exorcism Of The Dead” again from the film of the same name. And sweet zombie Jesus does this song rock. I’ve already talked about the Return Of The Living Dead and Dream Warriors soundtracks, but this song is the heir apparent to those glorious albums. “Exorcism Of The Dead” could have been written in 1986 and fi into any horror soundtrack at that time. I honestly can’t say enough about this song and how awesome it is. 2018 has been a hell of a year for horror music, and I would put this right at the top.

“You Can’t Take It With You” follows from The Curse Of Krampus film, and it unfortunately is unable to match the greatness of the previous track, but it does serve as a bit of a comedown from those peaks. A more mellow track in comparison to the first two, it leads into “Payback’s A Beast” from Slimoids, which has more of an electronic feel but balances the more mellow feel into a heavier sound. The album wraps up with “Critical Mass” from the film MutANTS, which operates as a great closing track. Mixing a bit of the feel of every track on the album, it all comes together beautifully.

While every song on the album was created for a different independent horror movie, the most incredible thing about Music For Maniacs Vol. 1 EP is how all five songs still manage to flow together. It’s a testament to the man behind the project and his vision of what he wanted to do. If you have any love whatsoever for those great soundtracks that we used to get back in the ’80s, then I cannot recommend Sematary Spawn enough. I know I will be paying attention to any future projects, and hell, if you’re a filmmaker who wants a great song for your movie, then I would suggest you get in touch with Mike Trebilcock himself!

You can get your copy of Music For Maniacs Vol. 1 EP at the Sematary Spawn Bandcamp and be sure to visit the Official Mike Trebilcock website as well!

Killer Track
“Exorcism Of The Dead”

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