White City Graves – One Of Us
Release date: 20/08/2021
Running Time: 29 minutes
Review by: Alun Jones
White City Graves released this album back in August, but I’m reviewing it in October. Not because I’m a slacker, but because this album is totally appropriate for the Spookiest Month of the Year. That’s right folks, we’ve jumped on the Horror Punk ghost train again, so buckle up and be prepared for a rollicking roll on the tracks to hell.
To be fair, there’s definitely a Misfits/Danzig influence with “One Of Us”, but White City Graves cast a wider net than just horror punk. Aggressive as it is, and with the undoubted splash of melody from those aforementioned bands, these songs also owe a big debt to ugly metal bands like Motorhead, Venom and Mercyful Fate.
Like Tad jacked up on speed and Monster Energy whiskey cocktails, it’s furious and frightening. We’re only one motel stop from chainsaw killers and rabid werewolf bikers – all of which makes Al rub his hands with glee.
“Bump in the Night” starts with a sample of an obscure B-movie (of course) and proceeds in the manner we’d expect: punk’n’roll at 200mph and snarling vocals. “Lights Out” is a frenzied rocker with the hugest chorus on the album – think the Anti-Nowhere League partying in a haunted house and you’ll be there.
The band give a nod to their Seattle roots with an exemplary cover of Soundgarden’s “Hunted Down”, a surprising song choice, but it makes perfect sense. WCG take the original and inject even more brutality, but retain a little of the psychedelic feel of the original.
I’ve no idea who Brooks is, but “Brooks is Here” features a helluva fast, almost psychobilly freak out. “Make My Blood Boil” and “Day in the Death” have a similar feel, though “Deeper” takes a more metallic approach with some added Sisters of Mercy atmos.
“One of Us” is fast and nasty, unafraid to have some fun with the horror punk cliches, but adding a ruthless heavy rock influence. Like the best of Seattle bands, it’s an irresistible collision of punk and metal that’s fun and makes the listener beg for more. Why aren’t more bands like this?
My old mate Ronnie James Dio used to love Halloween. He had fantastic costumes too: demons, zombies, imps. I used to have to take him out Trick or Treating every year, acting as his minder. Of course, I looked more like his parent, and most of the people thought little Ron, knocking on their door, was a child. He got loads of candy though, and he always shared it with me. Happy days.
This review is presented to you by Platinum Al and Ever Metal.