Horror Surf for the Holidays

by delarue

Mysterious Michigan horror surf band Zombie Zen A Go Go have a very cool, ghoulish new ep, Music for Hoards, up as a name-your-price download at their Bandcamp page. This band distinguish themselves from the rest of the horror surf contingent with their spacious, elegant guitar and snaky, slinky funeral organ over terse, uncluttered bass and drums. In other words, it’s more horror and less surf, although there’s tons of reverb on the guitars.

Don’t let the silly song titles give you the wrong idea: there’s not a single bad song here. The first one, Groovy Ghoul A Go Go, sets the stage with its droll horror film sonics, pulsing groove and tongue-in-cheek synth. Midnight Alien Creep mixes up an amazing amount of elements into barely two minutes: a bluesy intro, a marching organ theme, a handful of slashes from the guitar, a little piano and a quote from the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  NYC Zombie Love Story has a delicious interweave of organ and jangly reverb guitar, and a turnaround that hints at Bach.

Dr. Devious keeps a suspenseful, dynamically-charged pulse going all the way up to a slinky bridge with a touch of crime-jazz: it’s basically a variation on the Peter Gunne Theme. The final track is It’s Hammer (Horror) Time!, a surreal, woozy, fuzzed-out tribute to the great B-movie studio – it’s the least surfy track here; it’s closer to the Marshmallow Ghosts than surf music. Which doesn’t make it bad, it only makes it different. For anybody who’s wondering why there’d be such a Halloweenish album on this page at this time of year, that’s because this blog doesn’t do holiday music – unless, of course, it’s Halloween.