They of Calabrese, the greatest horror punk band in the world, also being the official band of Cinema Suicide, have hit their site and Myspace page with a couple of items that I’m pretty excited about. First up is the new album art, to the left there, by one of my favorite running comic artists at the moment, Eric Powell (who does the ever-awesome horror comic, The Goon). Click on the image to get a better look. Secondly is the album title. The winner of their contest to name the album, Bianca Vargas, named the album Calabrese III – They Call Us Death. The album is said to land in February and I couldn’t be more excited. I tell you this because their leadoff single, Violet Hellfire, is pretty righteous. You can hear it on their Myspace profile.
If you’re still not wise to Calabrese, these guys carry the torch for The Misfits and write a series of songs pretaining to monsters, ghosts, evil and teenage alienation. Each song is saturated in catchy hooks and carefully crafted choruses that were designed specifically for the spooky sing-along crowd. Find out more at the official website of Calabrese, their Myspace profile and the Calabrese twitter feed.
What does it mean to be the official band of Cinema Suicide? I honestly haven’t the slightest idea. What all of this implies is that I’ve been binging on Calabrese lately and it occurred to me that not only has it been a slow news day but that they’re completely appropriate for the website. You’ll notice that I don’t often write about music here. As a matter of fact, this may be the first time on this site that I have. The reason being that I just don’t feel particularly qualified to write about music. Even when I had Soundtrack Apocalisse (which died a sad and quiet death) I left the writing in the hands of someone else. But you know what? I’m going to give it a try.
Horrorpunk isn’t a particularly big genre and the reason for that is that there just aren’t a lot of horrorpunk bands out there. There’s a good deal of them, yes, but by comparison to other hard music subgenres, it’s a relatively small and splintered group and all paries involved seem to have one foot planted firmly in horrorpunk territory and the other elsewhere, like goth or psychobilly. Few of the bands involved are horrorpunk at the core. What is horrorpunk, you ask? It’s a particular sound and aesthetic best embodied by the New Jersey legends, The Misfits. The sound and look of horrorpunk has a particularly cyclical legacy as well as the modern horrorpunk band has a tendency to wear their allegiance to The Misfits plainly on their sleeves with a lot of three chord progressions, a lot of woah-oh-oh lyrics and a singer who does their best to emulate that same Mario Lanza tenor that distinguished Glenn Danzig from his ’77 contemporaries.
Calabrese, at one time, embodied all of those offenses but on their last album, The Travelling Vampire Show, released in 2007, they began to sound like a horrorpunk band that was striking out their own sound. All of the new material on the album, the songs that didn’t appear on the Midnight Spookshow EP, were extremely melodic and catchy and rather than dwelling on lyrical themes pulled from specific movies, the lyrics took on an obsession with ghosts and ouija boards.This is not to dismiss the original material from the EP and previous full-length, 13 Halloweens, they are both extremely good, tight horrorpunk affairs. The band is the child of three brothers, last name Calabrese, and they represent the absolute top of the heap. Calabrese is the rightful heir to The Misfits mantle. I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out a way to cross promote with these guys but I’m fairly certain that they don’t need my help. They’re featured in the pages of rags like Fango and Rue Morgue and on a handful of movie soundtracks, so they’re doing just fine.
Here’s a taste of what you can expect from the band. You can buy their albums here.