On the way home last night, I listen to Alice Cooper sing "Devil's Food," and play the Cramps' "Psychedelic Jungle" CD thru for the umpteenth time, searching for inspiration to come up with an idea for this week's Haunted Cabaret... Done. Mission accomplished.
Next, I decide to pop The Evil Streaks' new CD into the car stereo for the all-important Car Stereo Test. A couple days ago, my producer at WBOB hands me this CD and says it's up my alley. We are about to find out...
I turn the volume knob hard right... and the sonic black magic of The Evil Streaks surges from the speakers and penetrates my head. It's the sound of an All-Hallows-Eve Carnival from Hell, complete with farfisa organ and tambourine, saturating the chill interior of my beat-up Chevy Malibu. I check out all 13 tracks, then listen to tracks 2,3, and 5 again. And again. Here indeed we have a potent witches' brew, thick as blood pudding, agile and quick as attacking amphetamine spiders.
Drummer Too Fast Jim hits 'em just right, bassist Rev maintains a solid backbone, and guitarist John Kozik and guitarist/vocalist Myra put flesh on the demon. Jen Brunelle contributes the farfisa and tambourine & backups, while something or someone known in the credits only as Sloth contributes additional
Not everything here is perfect: there is an instrumental or two I don't think is necessary except to reach the final tally of 13 tracks, and a couple of the lyric rhymes sound forced. But the existence of a few small negatives, in a project this good, just makes you appreciate all over again the level of creative excellence at work here.
Credit for the high quality of production goes to Clay Neely at Black Coffee Sound. The bottom is deep and dark without being murky, the guitars and vocals cut through the mix when they need to, and the farfisa decorates the overall sound like the ornate carvings on a gothic cathedral. Good stuff.
Buy this CD and enjoy it.
Give it your own Car Stereo Test, and let it possess you. Remember, I said buy it; don't just download it, because you'll want the artwork, too. The graphics are eye-catching, especially the beautiful and creepy cover drawing by artist Haig Demarjian, and the fold-out centerpiece Ouija board. I repeat: you want to own this. We have been given an early Christmas present: a high-quality recording by a top-notch band at the height of their creative powers. I hope we appreciate it, almost as much as I hope The Evil Streaks never get tired of
working that planchette.
Check out music from The Evil Streaks, Alice Cooper, The Cramps, and whatever else crawls out from under the bed and into my head, on
The Haunted Cabaret: Wednesdays @ 10pm
- George Goner