Monday, February 9, 2015

Ghoultown - Life After Sundown

Imagine, if you would, if Hammer Horror had decided to create a horror themed Spaghetti Western with Sergio Leone as the director. Then, Leone decided to make it a musical and hired a kick ass Southern punk band to do the music. The finished product would have been an epic of undead gunslingers, horrifying monsters on horseback, and small Wild West towns overrun by the supernatural. Well that, my friends, would basically be Ghoultown.

Ghoultown, which is one of my absolute favorite bands, could easily be considered the pioneers of the Cowpunk genre. Many have given various labels such as gothabilly or psychobilly, but with the exception of Hellbilly, I really don't think they fit into any of the "billy" genres. Their sound, which is a horror and western fan's dream come true, is a combination of wild west gunslinger sounds, spooky Mexican horns and guitars, and a healthy dose of punk aggression. In the world of horror rock, where most groups do punk, metal, or rockabilly, Ghoultown has consistently stood out among all other horror rockers. They even had the rare honor of doing a new theme song for Elvira; which the Mistress of the Macabre appearing the music video.

A major factor about Ghoultown that always impresses me is that they consistently put out high quality music and always keep things fresh while managing to stay within that spooky, rockin' Wild West world. Life After Sundown is no different. It retains that Ghoultown sound, but definitely experiments a bit. There is a healthy amount of aggressive on this one, yet others are as dark and haunting as they come. The mood is perfect. I could really see fans of punk, outlaw country, any of the billys, and southern rock digging it a lot.

The production is top notch as well, maybe the best sounding Ghoultown record yet. Count Lyle really took it to the next level with his vocals. Life After Sundown may be the band's best release so far. But I'll have to listen to it about 600 more times to know if I like it as much as Give 'em More Rope.

The truly standout track for me is the title track, Life After Sundown, which could have(and should have) been in the From Dusk till Dawn series. The album also features a Ghoultown style cover of the Misfits' classic London Dungeon which is fantastic.

Released in 2008, Life After Sundown is Ghoultown's latest album chronologically, though recently they released a B-sides and rarities digital release as well as a re-release of the 2006 album Bury them Deep with extra tracks. And in very exciting news, frontman and head outlaw Lyle just announced a brand new album is in the works; tentatively titled Ghosts of the Southern Son. Hot damn, that's a cool title.

So head on over to the Official Ghoultown Site for more info, videos, and the extremely reasonable Ghoultown Store.

Also, frontman Lyle Blackburn is a very interesting fella,and downright fun som'bitch, even apart from the band. He is a well respected cryptozoologist and the author of several books on the subject including The Beast of Boggy Creek and Lizard Man. Lyle was also kind enough to be the subject of my very first interview located right here!! And one time he bought me Waffle House. You can't beat that!

For more on Lyle and his quest for the Fouke Monster, do check out his personal site here at Lyle

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