Thursday, 23rd March 2017. 4:17:41pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Horror-Punk, Gothbilly The Mugshots- Weird Theater


ARTIST:  The Mugshots

ALBUM: Weird Theater

LABEL: Lombroso Releases

REVIEWER: Matthew Johnson

DATE: 10-21-07

The Mugshots- Weird Theater

Based out of Italy, The Mugshots deliver a solid album of tightly played horror punk, drawing on all the classic influences without directly imitating any of them. There's the aggressive B-movie ebullience of The Misfits on "The Foul Stench of Humans," the slower punk rock romance of The Damned on "One Day the Dead Will Walk (The Earth)," and even a hint of the twitchy weirdness of early Sex Gang Children on "Silent Oracle." What really sets this album apart from the crowd, though, is the manic keyboard playing of Eric Stayn. Sure, death rock rock bands have been using pipe organs for that extra dose of graveyard atmosphere since 45 Grave invented the genre, but Stayn takes it to the next level. "Children of the Night" has the expected spooky carnival organs, but the rapid technical playing on "Morningside Graveyard" is almost baroque, more Bach than Batcave, and the bouncing synthesizer melody on "Last Words" is positively prog rock gone death rock, like The Cramps teaming up with Emerson, Lake and Palmer. As nauseous as that sounds, it actually works, adding an unexpected new sound to the ossified tropes of the genre. While all of The Mugshots' work is competently put together and should please fans of The Deep Eynde or even Bella Morte's more punk-inspired work, it's that extra touch of keyboards that makes this group stand out.

Pay a visit to the weird theater of The Mugshots at www.mugshots.it.


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