When I was a kid, two of my favorite things were music and horror movies. I had hundreds of cassettes and cds from just about every genre of music from rock to jazz, and even more VHS tapes of various horror movies. I loved it all, the masked serial killers hilariously mutilating promiscuous teenagers of 1980s slashers, the seductive mod goth of the 1960s Hammer films, and of course the classic Universal series of the greats like Dracula and Frankenstein. In a lot of ways, Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, and Robert Englund were the Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison and David Lee Roth of the classic film world. It may seem like an odd paring but then there was a little sub-genre in the music scene called Horror Punk, which brought together the love of bad horror B-movies and snotty punk rock, in a match made in Halloween.
I was introduced to The Misfits at around the age of nine or ten and I was immediately obsessed! Simple early 60s style rock n roll songs with over the top, horror themed lyrics played at this aggressive yet melodic attitude. It was just a fun style of music. This was the 90s so the internet wasn’t popular in those days, especially when it came to music, so I had to find other horror-punk bands by the way of word of mouth. It wasn’t an easy task. Sure there was The Cramps and T.S.O.L but outside of the Return Of The Living Dead motion picture soundtrack, I couldn’t find many bands to satisfy my craving.
By the time Napster came along and I was a teenager, This Misfits were back with a new singer and Horror-Punk became sort of popular again (at least on an underground level) but now thanks to Marylin Manson and the Nu- Metal movement looming in the distant mainstream, horror themed music became a joke. It was already a tongue-in-cheek sub-genre on it’s own, but now it was already overplayed. I still had my classic bands (as well as a handful of others I discovered through file sharing) but the new scene didn’t interest me anymore. Goth rock has it’s moments but it still wasn’t the same.
Fast forward to 2016, thanks to a dear friend, I discover the St.Louis based punk band Eaten Back To Life. A indie band that specializes in horror themed punk rock and extremely entertaining live show (or so I’m told, I haven’t been fortune enough to see them live yet). Their new EP Love Songs For The Departed is five song tour de force of gritty guitars, savage vocals, and a punk rock aesthetic that rivals and/or tops any Horror-Punk band currently in the business.
Some of the magic on this EP comes from the fact, the band never fully goes over the top. There’s all sorts of horror to be found of course, but it never feels like they take the cheap way out with overly offensive lyrics for shock value. Most importantly, they do NOT fall victim to the I’m in a horror punk band so I HAVE to sing like Danzig trope that has all but ruined the sub-genre over the past 20 years. Instead we get just enough to horror themes to be included in the genre, but enough originality to stand on their own. I here a little influence of both eras of The Misfits, but I also here influence of Hatebreed and maybe even 30 Amp Fuse (if you are familiar with that band, I owe you a Coca-Cola).
Love Songs For The Departed is being released on vinyl exclusively through Greenway Records in an awesome green variant, as well as killer clear with green/purple splatter variant and hand printed creepy casket label. Both editions are limited to 100 each, making them already somewhat of a collector’s item!
It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a decent Horror-Punk record and within only a few listens, I was already taken back to place where horror movies were gorey and fun, and punk was ugly and entertaining. Eaten Back To Life just get what I love about the genre and this EP is more than enough to keep me interested in everything else they are gonna do in their career. It’s Halloween in April, that’s for sure.
For news, tour dates, and info, like Eaten Back To Life on Facebook
To purchase Love Songs For The Departed on limited edition vinyl, visit Greenway Records