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!