Detroit funsters Acid Witch have put together the perfect soundtrack for a pleasant evening of scaring the awful people who, even now, are doubtless making their way towards your home to indulge in a spot of ‘trick or treating’.
I’ve rigged my speakers up near the front door of the Sentinel Daily office, pointing outwards, natch, ready to broadcast the likes of I Hate Halloween into the faces of whichever of the little fuckers are tenacious enough to get within earshot. And then there’s the superbly macabre Scare Tape, surely the best intro to an album ever committed to wax…
Yes, yes, I hear you moaning, scaring kids is all well and good but about the music? Well, when the band aren’t weaving together frankly horrific public information films and the sort of carnivalesque weirdness you might hear on a slightly psycho episode of the Muppets, they actually manage to construct some very listenable, riff heavy gothic metal that I can’t imagine anybody not tapping a toe or two to.
Mr Beistle is superb, whilst Cheap Gore, after more home video shenanigans at the start, settles down into a superbly psychotic riff that’s augmented by synths that will pierce your ear holes mercilessly.
Everything is delivered at fever pitch, the ridiculous samples heightening the hysteria before the lo-fi, garagey metal beats the listener senseless with a variety of bluntly simplistic riffs and nausea-inducing keyboard embellishment. It’s tremendous to listen to, the whole being an opportunity for the listener to check their brain in at the door and just wallow in some prime, gonzoid metal for the hell of it.
Enter at Your Own Risk is a spoken word tableaux that Alice Cooper would be proud to put his name to, although it does sound a little marooned by being rendered as an individual ‘track’. Mutilation Mansion, the track that follows this interlude, could easily have been fused to it with no loss of impact. Still, of itself Mutilation Mansion is quite excellent, sounding like the sort of thing Twisted Sister would have liked to have recorded in the mid eighties before deciding instead to team up with Billy Joel.
Hardrock Halloween revisits the Scare Tape before blossoming into the album’s most straightforward – and best – track, before Nightmares in a Damaged Brain and the title track round things out in cheese- heavy style. Not many bands can pull this horror metal schtick off this effectively, and Acid Witch’s effortless mastery of their difficult chosen genre is a testament to their skills in every respect. Check it out.
Hells Headbangers will release Evil Sound Screamers on Halloween, natch.