Welcome to my nightmare…I think you’re gonna like it there!
There is a cold chill in the air biting at my cheeks like serpents as I try to make my way home. The clock flirts close to the witching hour. I take a short cut through the graveyard ignoring the popular folklore warning me away from such foolhardy behaviour. As the fog wisps around, and the air becomes thick, tombstones begin to shake alive as something, or someone has been awoken by my mere innocent presence…
Zombina And The Skeletones are bunch of loveable ghouls that party with their brand of rock’n’ghoul giving them the tag by others as Liverpool’s answer to The Cramps. First track, ‘Dracula’s Blood’ is fast paced and reminds me of Horrorpops without the double-bass, showcasing the band as more classic rock’n’roll than rockabilly. ‘Evil Science’ is another short sharp shock of B-movie shock rock, whilst we have some high pitched keyboards in a 1950’s influenced and sickly sweet diner rock of ‘Puke It Up’. A great track.
Every now and then the full moon shines brightly giving flashes of an evil streak like in the full metal rock of, ‘Raised In Hell’ whereby lead vocalist Zombina shouts, “I was conceived on a bed of nails!” in the first line. We then have whistling at the beginning of the slightly Johnny Cash-esque feel of ‘Flaming Skull’ telling the tale of the ghost rider…next song ‘0-800 666’ is quite punk rock in the pace, with feverish guitar licks dripping with flames, and thumping drum beats like the excited heart of the devil. This leads to the fantastic ‘Vincent Price’. Mid-tempo, it sounds almost like a ghostly cabaret in a sideshow with Zombina’s haunting female vocals. Mother? Are you there?
The pace picks up again on the straight up rock of, ‘Tomb Of The Blind Date’, however if I’m honest the zany electro-space-rock of, ‘Love Droid’ leaves me open mouthed and a little on edge. ‘King Of The Ring’ is a tongue in cheek rock classic, that works even better as you remember Guns’N’Roses juvenile taunt song, ‘Get In The Ring’ that was meant to be serious, however here we have some great lyrics like the chorus, “I’m gonna rock you, shock you, and rip off your head // I’ll wind you, skin you, an’ leave you for dead // An’ I’ll beat you and eat you alive, it’s good exercise // I’ll headlock you, an’ bop you, an’ totally stop you!” Fang-tabulous stuff!
‘Wolf Hands’ is another short song about love as the chorus goes, “I’ve got wolf hands, cuz I’m in love with you”, indeed, however the next song, ‘Dr No’ is my favourite on here. It’s one of those songs that sounds like it could be on the soundtrack to a 1950’s song with drive ins, milkshakes, hotrods and diners - a mixture of rock’n’roll and doo-wop - however when you listen to the lyrics, the wholesomeness is drained out straightaway like a slit throat, as we hear the story of a young girl’s guy being taken away by the infamous Dr No, and her heartfelt pleas to let him go, like, “If you hurt him I’ll break your arm // Don’t harm one hair on his head // You’re dead if you touch my baby // yeah, yeah, yeah!”. Then we have more punk rock in, ‘I Go Psycho’, before a chilled and rocking hidden track some ten minutes after the song before has finished.
This is a hugely satisfying album that takes you on a journey through some great rock influenced genres without sounding like a thrown-together musical patchwork quilt. It’s catchy from the beginning and like fungus grows on you slowly.
…As the final crypt closes and the echoes of the music finally cease, I’m left panting and grabbing at my ripped clothes as I ponder my path back home. Ordinarily, one would be expected to be filled with horror, bearing emotional scars so deep you’d think the whole world would notice, however, perhaps slightly sadistically, I feel more spent, having actually felt the thrill and joy of the whole experience. As I finally get to my front door I notice dripping in blood the words, ‘Same time tomorrow’, and I smile to myself. I can hardly wait.