Screaming Dead @ 100 Club, London

First gig of 2017 and I finally got to see one of my all time favourite horror-punk bands, Screaming Dead, performing in support of TV Smith at the legendary 100  Club.

screaming-dead
Sam Bignall not Jaz Coleman

Although typically a jazz venue, in September 1976 the 100 Club helped push Punk into the mainstream by hosting the first International Punk Festival. Among the acts featured were the Stranglers, the Damned, the Sex Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Clash.

Still supporting punk music, the 100 Club were hosting the Screaming Dead as part of Resolution ’17, a punk festival that is currently being held there.

“Resolution, an 11-day festival of all things punk, will return to it’s spiritual home, the 100 Club, for the third time in January 2017. Resolution celebrates the bands and musicians who kick started the movement and those who continue to breathe new life into it today. Featuring artists including UK SUBS; The Vibrators; The Boys; street punk band, GBH; Subhumans; Nick Cash (999); ANWL; TV Smith; Discharge and many more to be announced, it promises to be one hell of a way to welcome the new year.”

original-screaming-dead
Heralding from Cheltenham, the Screaming Dead took their name from the English title to Jess Franco’s 1972 schlock horror Dracula contra Frankenstein. In true DIY punk fashion they francos-screaming-deadself-released their first single ‘Valley of the Dead’ in 1982 and, on the back of its strong sales, got picked up by No Future records. In 1985, only a few singles and EPs later, the band split .

In 2014 Screaming Dead reformed for the second time. But with founding guitarist Tony McKormack committed to goth-rock band Inkubus Sukkubus, this current incarnation features only singer, Sam Bignall, and bassist, Mal Page, from the original line-up. Nevertheless, this line-up feels authentic and they played an awesome set last night, which included a great cover of the Damned’s New Rose. New guitarist, Mazzy, is a killer axe-slinger. Two gripes, though, they didn’t play ‘Angel of Death’ nor ‘Lovers’.

the-band

I snagged a copy of the band’s setlist, here it is.

set-list

Hopefully this reunion leads to a reissue of Bring Out yer Dead, an album that compiled together most of their EPs and singles. It has been out of print for ages and hard to find, and an expensive buy if you do. However, punk record label Queer Pills have reissued a couple of those classic EPs  on limited 7″ vinyl.

Also, this new line-up have put out an EP, The Resurrection. Re-recordings, not new material, though.

Singles & EPs

  • “Valley of the Dead” 7″ (1982), Skull – reissued by No Future
  • “Nigh Creatures” 12″ (1983), No Future
  • “Paint It Black” 7″ (1984), No Future
  • The Danse Macabre Collection 12″ (1984), Angel
  • “A Dream of Yesterday” (1985), Angel

Albums & Collections

  • Children of the Boneyard Stones (cassette-only) (1982), Recreational Tapes
  • Bring Out Yer Dead (1993), Angel
  • Death Rides Out (1997), Resurrection

Horrorific Vinyl: 2016’s Horror OSTs

Over the past few years vinyl has been making and come back, helping the record industry mend some of the damage it started doing to itself back in the 80s, when it shortsightedly encouraged (forced = bonus CD tracks!) record buyers to switch over to the cheaper to produce Compact Disc, never foreseeing the possibility that, in only a few years, all these converts would have the technology to make their own CDs in their living rooms, thereby drastically devaluing the CD as a product. Unsurprisingly, now they want you to buy records again, and, apparently, this year vinyl has managed to outsell digital downlaods.

Consequently, with the increase in vinyls sales, a lot of record companies are now reissuing classic cult-horror/genre soundtracks on the format. Here are a few of my picks from this year.

fright-night

“Fright Night – Original Soundtrack – Vinyl – In 1985, writer-director Tom Holland’s “Fright Night” debuted in multiplex cinemas around the world. The film gained a massive cult following and has gone on to become one of the most cherished vampire films of all time. Taking cues from Hammer Films, the work of director William Castle and horror icon Vincent Price. The decision to create a soundtrack that includes New Wave hit makers alongside Brad Fiedel’s synth score adds spectacular creepiness to the overall vibe of the film. Night Fever Music is proud to release the long out-of-print yet beloved soundtrack to the 1985 horror classic “Fright Night.” Remastered from the original master tapes and pressed on heavy 180 Gram Blue/White Evil Fog-Colored Vinyl.-Limited edition 180 gram blue and white evil fog colored audiophile vinyl LP pressing.”

Tom Holland’s Fright Night is a bona fide classic, one of my all time favourite 80’s movie (fuck the remake – glossy piece of shit!). The soundtrack is by the immensely talented composer Brad Fiedel who also provided the soundtrack to Jeff Lieberman’s excellent in-the-woods slasher Just Before Dawn and …

the-terminator

“The Terminator is a cult 80’s action movie that needs no introduction. Directed by Oscar-winning maverick James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar), The Terminator stars Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator, Conan the Barbarian) as the unstoppable Terminator, a ruthless killer sent to the past by machines in the future to kill a young woman (Linda Hamilton) who will one day give birth to humanity’s last hope. Released in 1984, The Terminator was a landmark film that spawned a multi-billion dollar franchise with numerous sequels and spin offs, and cemented Schwarzenegger’s place as a Hollywood action legend. The score to The Terminator, composed by Brad Fiedel (Fright Night, True Lies), is as striking as the title character. Punctuated with erratic electronic jolts and rapid fire drums giving the impression of pursuit or gunfire, Fiedel’s work has been used in each subsequent Terminator film and has spent many years out of print. Now available once again and re-mastered from the original tapes for the 21st century, the iconic themes and synth-heavy score has finally been mixed and sequenced the way the composer intended the album to be heard. This soundtrack will transport you back in time to the terrifying streets of Los Angeles on one bloodsoaked 80s night.”

Fiedel again, here now with probably his most iconic score. The guy had gift for creating memorable themes, too bad he retired after working on Johnny Mnemonic.

warriors

“Waxwork Records is excited to announce their long awaited release of THE WARRIORS. This deluxe double LP is three years in the making and features the re-mastered 1979 original soundtrack, in addition to, the vinyl debut of the complete film score by Barry DeVorzon.”

manhatten-baby

Manhattan Baby, an exorcist rip-off from 1982, is not one Lucio Fulci’s better efforts. But while I don’t recommend the film, I’ll always recommend giving a score by Fabio Frizzi a listen.

the-chuch

“Emerson’s tracks here take on a much darker element than usual, they are very gothic and super brooding . Goblin’s tracks offer and slightly more bombastic feel than say something like Suspiria which totally fits in with the style of the movie, which is one of the last great unsung Italian movies worth your time. Includes two previously unreleased tracks.”

The Church has its fans but I’m not one them. Again, like Manhattan Baby, the score, by the late great Keith Emerson and Goblin,is the best thing about this film, in my opinion.

ninth-gate

“Making its debut on vinyl, Wojciech Kilar’s haunting soundtrack to Polanski’s disturbing film The Ninth Gate(1999) features at its core the vocals of Korean born soprano, Sumi Jo. Kilar established himself as a horrorscore composer with Bram Stoker’s Dracula and his work here on Polanski’s film achieves a creeping sense of menace worthy of Polanski’s dark tale of Satanic worship.”

Great film, amazing score, particularly the theme, Vocalise, sung by Sumi Jo. A student of Nadia Boulanger (who also taught Philip Glass, among many others), Wojciech Kilar was an amazing composer of soundtracks and classical concert hall work. I love every note this guy ever commited to stave.

conquest

Now this is a Lucio Fulci film I recommend wholeheartedly. The gorefather’s one and only foray into sword n’ sorcery is strange but compelling. And the synth score by Goblin main-man, Claudio Simonetti, is wonderful.

stranger-things

“The spellbinding, synth-heavy soundtrack to Netflix’s 1980s-set smash hit horror ‘Stranger Things’ is being released on LP and CD through Invada Records, in all territories excluding North and South America. With its pillowy synth-pads and rich textures, the soundtrack to volume 2 seamlessly wanders through the 80s world of ‘Stranger Things’, breeding an unthreatening serenity with a gentle shift toward a darker mood. Floating between sweeter moments which temporarily blossom amidst the danger and decay, volume 2 is the second part of the Stranger Things score, reaching climactic highs as the series comes to an end. This soundtrack is instantly reminiscent of works by John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing), Tangerine Dream and Vangelis (Blade Runner), whilst also delving into the ambience of Aphex Twin and more modern composers such as Cliff Martinez (Drive, Solaris). The vinyl for Volume 2 will be pressed on clear coloured vinyl, with a red blob on disc 1 and black blob on disc 2, and will be housed in a thick 425 gram heavyweight gatefold sleeve. A printed insert will be included which will feature additional artwork and credits. The CD format will be presented as a digi-pack CD.”

As most can probably tell, from looking at these picks, I like old-school synth music, and I’m glad its making a comeback, as exemplified by the success of this show and its soundtrack. It’s too soon to say definitively where this show ranks, but Stranger Things deinitely places high among my favourite shows of all time, right alongside Twin PeaksMillennium, and Eerie Indiana.

paganini-horror

“Paganini Horror is the second release on SUB OST, the soundtrack focused sub label of Subsound Records. For the first time ever on vinyl, this is the original soundtrack of Dario Argento protégé Luigi Cozzi’s movie, composed and arranged by electronic composer and wizard Vince Tempera in 1989. Sinister like the sounds of a violin, this is a classic Italian horror score finally available on 2LP in a limited edition colored vinyl or black wax. Includes original artwork by E. Sciotti.”

This soundtrack is pure 80s’ gold, but, you know, I’ve actually never seen the movie. I’ve got to correct that.

Hybrid Moments: A Literary Tribute to the Misfits

There’s still a few days left to contribute to the  Kickstarter campaign for Hybrid Moments: A literary Tribute to the Misfits, ‘a collection of short stories inspired by the songs of the greatest horror punk band of all time’By participating you can snag yourself limited edition copies of the book, due out in October, and a wide range of other goodies besides. Published by WeirdPunk Books Hybrid Moments follows their 2015 release Blood for You: A Literary Tribute to GG Allin.

Hope other people out there are looking forward to this release as much as I am. Danzig era Misfits are one my all time favourite bands, so I’m extremely proud to be apart of this book and delighted that its release will coincide with the Misfits reunion. And isn’t that an awesome cover!

Hybrid Moments

Official Poster For Rob Zombie’s 31 Unveiled

The official poster for Rob Zombie’s long awaited movie 31 has been released and it looks amazing. I’m really looking forward to seeing this flick. It comes out on VOD on September 16th and in theaters on October 21st.

Five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, Hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, the goal of which is to survive twelve hours against a gang of sadistic clowns.

31 Poster

 

Blue Oyster Cult & King Diamond Coming To London

Two of my all time favourite acts are coming to London to perform two classic albums. These two acts are King Diamond, the Stephen King of metal, and Blue Oyster Cult – ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ is not there only song!

Cross of QuestioningBOC haven’t played London in years, and it’s great that Albert Bouchard will be joining them. Bouchard was fired (or quit) from the band in 1981, after they recorded probably my favourite BOC album ‘Fire of Unknown Origin’. He was the bands drummer, but he also helped pen some of their best songs. And on ‘Agents of Fortune’, the album they’ll be performing in its entirety, he took the lead vocals on three songs. So they really couldn’t do these 30th anniversary shows without him.

It’s a shame that Blue Oyster Cult seem to be a bit of a forgotten band nowadays, they’re not even in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, which shows what a crock of shit that thing is. Currently without a record deal, their last album was fifteen years ago, 2001’s ‘Curse of the Hidden Mirror’ (most of the lyrics for that album were written by sci-fi/fantasy writer John Shirley). Unfortunately, I think the reason they get overlooked is because a lot of people think of them as being a one song band – Not True! Their song catalogue is amazing. Five favourite BOC songs – excluding ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’: Astronomy, Veteran of the Psychic Wars, Black Blade, Flaming Telepaths, Transmaniacon MC.

As for King Diamond, five years ago he was rushed to the hospital and ended up undergoing triple-bypass surgery, and apparently it’s been a long road to recovery since, so it’s great to see him healthy and  out touring again.

“Grandmaaaaaa!! I got a fever and the only the prescription is more cowbell.”

BOC - Kentish Town

 

King Diamond - Kentish Town

November Coming Fire

November can be quite a depressing month, not because of the early sunsets and the chilly weather (I personally like both these things), but because Halloween has passed, the end of the year is now on horizon and one begins reflect on just how quick the past eleven months have flown by. It’s fortunate then that, to keep away the post Halloween blues, two of my favourite artists, Tobe Hooper and Glenn Danzig, will being releasing much anticipated new material this November.

Coming out first, on NoveDJINN_DVDmber 17, will be the DVD release of Tobe Hooper’s much delayed movie Djinn. From what I’ve read about the plot, think Rosemary’s baby meets Wishmaster. The film was actually completed five years ago, 2010, but couldn’t find a distributor and/or was held back by its financers, the United Arab Emirates, who had issues about the way the country was depicted in the film. Troubled productions unfortunately are quite common with Tobe Hooper movies and at 72 years old Djinn looks like it might be his last feature film so I’m glad it’s finally getting released. Thanks Screen Media Films. Mr. Hooper gets a lot of shit (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre is his only good film. Steven Spielberg really directed Poltergeist!”) but I love him, The Funhouse, Lifeforce, TCM 1&2 and Toolbox Murders are my favourites (and Salem’s Lot was the first movie to ever give me nightmares). Not all his films are perfect but I’ve never seen a Tobe Hooper movie I haven’t enjoyed (O.K Crocodile was shit! But that’s it.). Even his novel Midnight Movie was fun.

Scheduled for release sometime in late November is Glenn Danzig’s long awaited covers album, Skeletons. Not much to say about it. It’s Danzig so it’s gonna kick ass!

Danzig_Skeletons

Portal & Grave Miasma at Nambucca, May 31st.

portal nambuccaAustralian blackened death metallers Portal headlined a show at Nambucca, a small venue in Islington, on Sunday. I had never seen the band before and was greatly looking forward to the gig. I had been turned on to Portal only recently after reading an interview with Phil Anselmo, who Portalraved about them. “I think I have a mental problem because I can’t stop listening to Portal, for God’s sake,” said Anselmo in the interview with wweek.com. So being a big Phil Anselmo fan I had to check out this band. And I’m glad I did. Though I wouldn’t say I love the band, they’ve not given me the mental problem they gave Phil, I certainly do like them a lot. So going to show on Sunday, despite their being four acts on the bill, there was only one act I really gave a toss about. To my surprise, however, they weren’t my favourite act of the night. ThePortal set was great, don’t get me wrong, but something about Grave Miasma, a band I had never heard before, really clicked with me. They’re a London band who released their first album, Odori SepulcroGrave Miasmarum, in 2013. I recommend any death metal fan to check them out. I certainly will be keeping and eye on them.

As we were waiting in line for the gig, I mentioned to the friend I was with that Portal are obviously influenced by Peter Gabriel. Being a little unfamiliar with pre-Sledgehammer Gabriel my friend looked at me as if I was crazy. “‘In Your Eyes’ is far cry from ‘Omnipotent Crawling Chaos’ twat,” I could tell he was thinking. Of course, I wasn’t talking about their music, though I do believe Gabriel has a great death metal album in him somewhere. I was talking about The Curator’s penchant for eleaborate costumesPeter gabriel Old Man. While the rest of the band wear executioner garb, The Curator, Portal’s lead singer, has a variety of different outfits,portal ranging from a clock head to a ghostly maiden. Gabriel, though, has The Curator beaten hands down. His costumes were legion, for there were many; Fox Head, Old Man, Rael, the Flower and more. Though I’ve not read Portal reference Gabriel in any interviews (a great interview with Portal can be found here), I’m sure the band are aware of what Gabriel did during his time in Genesis, how he would incorporate a variety of costumes during the band’s stage shows to help tell the story of their songs. “Nowadays there’s very little shock value,” said Gabriel in an interview for the book Genesis: Chapter & Verse, “but in those days when you arrived with make-up and a shaven head, it was other-worldly, scary and disturbing.”

‘Otherworldly, Scary and disturbing’, Peter Gabriel used to be so ‘death-metal’ and I don’t even know if I’m being ironic or not.