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It’s not everyday I get to review a punk album from this area and I always get a little excited when one comes around. What is even more rare is when I get to listen to an album that has elements of horror. Wolf Blood is the last band to come to mind that I’ve reviewed that has brought themes of horror in their music. Monster Mob is a relatively new band and they have created what is essentially a B-horror album. There is little to compare to Wolf Blood other than horror and rock; Wolf Blood being mostly really solid stoner metal and Monster Mob taking a tongue-in-cheek punk approach that seems like it would be something the Dead Milkman might do if they made a horror movie obsessed album and were a little heavier. Monster Mob consists of singer Cory Jezierski who is known for his vocals/raps with his former groups such as Number One Common and Modern Gentlemen. The rest of the band is Mark Swanson (bass), Garrett Schoeder (guitar), and Dan Holmi (drums).
This album stays true to horror punk bands like the Misfits, or should I say early Misfits? It references specific horror movies, it’s not particularly technical and the production isn’t that great. It’s kind of like that, but take away the cool Danzig vocals or any sense of trying to be truly dark. If you’ve seen and liked campy B-horror movies, you might be able to get into this band and album. If this doesn’t sound like something you’d care to listen to then don’t waste your time reading the rest of this review.
Are you still reading? Ok, let’s take a look, or listen, at this album. First off, I talked briefly with Jezierski about this album and it’s essentially a demo of what is to come. This isn’t unheard of with punk albums. Sometimes bands just cut a low production EP to get the music out there and then follow up with a better produced full album that has some new songs and maybe a couple that were taken out, replaced or revised. I’ve seen some bands that have put a song on three different albums before it reached its final version. Monster Mob got their start in January 2015, so in a way they’re being pretty bold and proactive with this release.
The album seems to be DIY, I was going to say the guitar distortion sounds like a Digitech Metal Master but I think that would be giving it too much credit, it’s not hard to find a spot here and there where Jezierski is out of key with his vocals. Ok, with all of that out, take a step back. This is punk rock we’re talking about. Not just punk rock, cheesy horror punk rock. It’s not like they got a grant from the Arts Council to make this album, although it would be hilarious if they did. What drives this album is concept, and if I’ve ever seen an example of concept, then this band takes the cake.
Those into horror movies have seen at least a few films where bright red fake blood goes gushing out of fake latex skin. This EP is like that and the band makes no attempt to try to pull it off as anything else.
Just looking at the track list, it’s pretty easy to get the gist of this album. Songs are either named after horror movies of reference them. I was a little disappointed that the track “Nightbreed” had really nothing to do with the Clive Barker written and directed film from 1990, but it’s still cool they made some sort of a shout out to the film. Songs like “Human Centipede” directly go into the details of what the original movie is about, “ass to mouth to ass to mouth to ass,” the delivery is upbeat punk similar to The Ramones or Sex Pistols, “stitch you up with care, say a little prayer, you may think that this is unfair.” The album is more fun than shocking. It’s fair to say that people who aren’t into horror movies will probably miss the point but I think those who do appreciate horror and more old school punk will be able to set aside the so-so production and enjoy it for what it is. I did like that they came up with the song “My Best Girl Got Killed By A C.H.U.D.” I can’t think of any other band ever mentioning that cult classic 1984 horror flick.
This album can be found to stream or download at monstermob.bandcamp.com. It can also be purchased at Electric Fetus for $5. Their single “Human Centipede” can be found on Youtube. The band will be going back into the studio this summer to take on a more polished version of this album as well as bringing in a few more fun and gory tracks. I really feel that a little more work in the studio will bring some impressive results. When Halloween comes around, the Monster Mob show will be the place to be, hands down. Catch them live coming up at Homegrown on Monday, April 27 at the Red Star Lounge.