Raizing Hell – Monsters Prefer Blondes Review

By Jordan Mooney.
Proofread by Lydia Byron.

Raizing Hell are back! And whilst they’re no soberer than their last visit to the elusive Cat on the Wall towers, they’ve certainly pulled a few changes. What do we think of their latest piece of B-music anarchy? Read on…

It’s very clear that Monsters Prefer Blondes has shifted the group’s talents are little bit further – everything here feels meaner, stronger, tougher – harder to crack and even a touch better at defending itself. Starting on an immediate high note with I Like It Wrong, the album kicks off with an ear-worm riff, a catchy chorus, but, above all else, featuring a rougher – perhaps even slightly more varied – Liv Decay, testing herself before the album’s even a minute old. The entire thing feels like a hob-nailed boot to the arm. It makes their previous efforts feel like a demo tape.

Not to say that the relatively simple charm of Raizing Hell has gone anywhere; from start to end, the spirit of the group is still in place. Like the finest of B-Movie cinema, it isn’t the most advanced art form or the most emotionally complex – it is, rather, a collection of iconic, amusing and rather cheesy moments stitched up in a rough-hewn manner – think a project from Leatherface and you’re along the right lines…

Musically, the record feels a touch more articulate – the intros to such tracks as This Is IT can set the tone beautifully; here feeling particularly slow and ominous, a suitably atmospheric build up for a tribute to Stephen King’s tale, and forming one of the most obvious ‘horror’ entries of Raizing Hell’s repertoire – without losing the silliness of the book itself, of course. Picking up tempo gently, the track ends on the similarly ominous tone it came in with. All I need is a few Tim Curry soundbites to finish it off… (Do you have Prince Albert in a can!?)

Similarly, we get a few more varied styles – The Sun Is Down provides a surprisingly marvellous bit of spaghetti Western – a surprise I really wasn’t expecting! – And Trouble carries, for me, at least a dash of rockabilly rebellion and seduction (which with a female led group is always a brilliant touch).

We finally reach the title track, thirteen hammering tunes down – and it’s by far the fastest, most frantically paced I’ve heard from the group – it does what it says on the tin, and almost dips a rotting toe in more thrashy, modern waters. Thankfully it doesn’t dive all the way in, and, like our more unusual tracks preceding, serves instead to prove our grave-clambering crew’s relatively well-concealed range of ideas and influences. After this rather mental, cacophonic closer, the record dims, the darkness descends once again, and our little chunk of Romanian neon-addled horror-rock-and-roll once again dissipates.

The result is a record that really stokes up its atmosphere into a big, loud belch of thick, black smoke.

It’s true – Raizing Hell’s music is relatively rudimentary compared to a lot of horror punk groups out there; and Liv Decay’s vocals may not be to everybody’s tastes. Hell, the songwriting may seem a touch too old fashioned to those who are used to the likes of the more pretentious horror breed – but Raizing Hell are above all else driven by their personality, and for the sheer character in their tunes? They prove to be rather magnetic!

Check it out!

About the author

Compulsive hat wearer, eccentric, fan of all things audio-visual, part time Goth, historian, and railway enthusiast, Jordan is the closest you can get to everybody's weird uncle. Except he's less than 60 years old.

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