| Artist: Frankenstein|
CD Title: An Ugly Display of Self- Preservation
Label: Meathouse Audiografik]
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Founded over fifteen years ago by LA horror punk luminary Dave Grave, Frankenstein at last have a full-length album under their belt. Reminiscent of the Cramps but a whole lot heavier, Frankenstein cook rockabilly, punk, and garage rock into a thick stew of slide guitar and reverb. Mostly written in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, these songs were rerecorded for release on CD, which makes it all the more surprising that the production is a bit of a mixed bag. The usually brilliant William Faith was apparently going for a backwoods boggy thing here, but at times it feels too overdone and intentionally retro. The reverb on “Jesus With A Big V-8” gives the song a perfect old-fashioned vibe, but on “Swamp Twang Thang” all it does is muddle up the lyrics. Still, with backbeats on “Devil In A Bottle” and “Bubblin’ Blood” that grab you by the collar, shake you around a bit, and demand you to finish your whiskey and DANCE, it’s no wonder Frankenstein is packing ‘em in at all the death rock dive bars. Reverend Whitey Peckawood’s guitar hogs much of the spotlight, whether showing off classic rock chops on “Lovecraft,” squealing through “Flesh Garage,” or abusing the wah-wah pedal in the ‘60s-inspired “Strange Movies.” Grave’s vocals are raspy and guttural, slipping into country-rock twang on “Black Train Rollin’” and hollering in swing time to “Thunderjug.” The lyrics are dark and campy without going completely over-the-top, and the tobacco hymn of “Black Lung” is rife with comical tributes to the Rolling Stones. Frankenstein in the studio is still no match for Frankenstein on the stage, but this will tide you over until the next time this self-described “Palpitating Thing” lumbers into your town.
Check out the man! The band! The monster! at www.frankensteintheband.com
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