You Say I'm Mad? That May Be So...,
This review is from: Shrunken Head (Audio CD)
It's easy to dismiss these guys as a one-joke novelty band, and in my opinion, the terms "voodoobilly" and "psychobilly" won't help dissuade anyone of that idea.
I remember thinking this was really funny and hip back when I was 18, however. I saw them play in places like Porter's and the Casbah in San Diego in the mid-nineties, and they really rocked. They made good use of primitive but humorous gimmicks on stage to augment the campy sci-fi theme.
This is the album that captures the moment when the joke was fresh. It's got a little bit of the Cramps' B-movie horror schtik, although the musical style is closer to surf than rockabilly. With a repetitive simplicity, they keep the beat going at a steady pulse from start to finish. Somehow, it's really pretty catchy.
The vocals are delivered with a kind of beatnik monotone, never really delivering much in the way of melody, but deftly filling the spaces between the notes all the same. At times the singer catches the listener off guard with a sudden yelp of terror, or else the muffled revelation of some dark secret.
Although the joke eventually wore thin, I have to give them credit for hitting the nail on the head with this one, and perhaps also with the follow up album, Tiki Man.