Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Haunting Of Bloody Death Skull by Bloody Death Skull - Gothic Americana Doo Wop Experimental Pop is Weird and Wonderful

From time to time I like to venture into that strange type of art that shuns convention and Bloody Death Skull is always wonderfully weird. In a previous review of their music I referred to their sound as "tin pan Dali" recordings. Previous works were purposely lo-fi and like a good found footage horror movie the noise and grain in the songs enhanced the abstract sounds. On the Haunting of Bloody Death Skull, an all too brief EP, the band has stepped up their sound giving the askew whimsy a more beautiful sheen.

Betsy's Back has a surf punk shuffle and I thought of Julie Ruin while listening. The guitar jams but it rushes through it's paces and ends too soon. Bloody Death Skulls' cover of Leon Payne's Psycho originally released by Eddie Noack in 1968 and covered in all manner of permutations by Jack Kittel, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Beasts of Bourbon and in terms of emotional arcs eclipses all of them. While previous versions seem to hinge on the staid country cadence, Bloody Death Skull turns the extremely dark perversely comical lyrics into a melodramatic celebration. The upturn ratchets up the strange tone.

The next track Carpool is charming and sweet minus the abstract tone that is almost always in the bones of any BDS song so it itself  becomes the weird song on the album. The 4th and final track Gloom is less "Psycho Beach Party" and more like a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It feels big and dramatic and when Daiana Feuer sings the opening line "Welcome to my gloom I just got a house here it came recommended for the view and a bed that swallows you whole, it's a black hole down to the floor" and I am mesmerized. While this strange evocative tale still has it's Hammer Horror vibe it's vast production is a dazzling step up for BDS and it is soooo bloody great.

Robb Donker

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