When a band named "HorrorPops" categorizes themselves as "psychobilly," there is nothing this writer desires more than to tell you to turn off the lights, turn up the stereo, and witness how this female led group from Denmark's debut album "Hell Yeah!" turns every night into the freakiest, naughtiest, pumpkin-less Halloween you've ever seen. Unfortunately, unlike the Nekromantix last album Return of the Loving Dead, they fail to deliver the necessary "scary" that put the psycho in psychobilly. Yet, while you won't be donning a hockey mask and machete after a listen, you will be treated to a catchy blend of surf-rock/rockabilly/riot grrl that obviously defies convention/categorization/genres.
The balance of the band oscillates between Patricia Nekroman's pure, Gwen Stephani-esque vocals and the driving, thumping, corpse-shaking bass lines of Kim Nekroman. Not only does Kim Nekroman sing backup vocals on many of the tracks, but his stand-up bass acts like a second melody, often playfully overshadowing the rest of the HorrorPops have to offer on every track save "Baby Loud Tattoo, " "Ghouls," and "Where They Wander," the latter being a standout track and a curious omission from their website as an MP3 appetizer.
The emphasis on Kim Nekroman's bass takes nothing away form Patricia Nekroman's vocals, as she holds her own on the aforementioned "Where They Wander" where her brash Courtney Love meets Cinder Block (Tilt) voice powers through beats and riffs that rock the circuits out of the radio that's been playing Coldplay for the past two years.
HorrorPops is plain alternative rock that you can bob your head to. If that is your bag, if your audio blinders only filter in genre-A, if you cross the days off the calendar in preparation for the next Something Corporate, then you'll want to pick up HorrorPops. If not, burn the last track off a friend and move on. There's too much good music out there to get bogged down with the mundane.
As a whole, "Hell Yeah!" lacks consistency. It's as if the band has yet to choose which direction to go (scary, rockabilly…both?) and it all sounds like a lot of work. Songs like "Kool Flattop" and "Pscychobitches Outta Hell," don't meet the expectations of their namesakes, coming off as fillers for this thirteen track album.
It's as if the HorrorPops aren't quite getting the B-movie joke their genre is built on. That is, all this horror stuff is supposed to be fun. Patricia and company deliver good things, but I'm still searching for that blood soaked "Elvis meets the Wolfman/Wolfwoman" track accompanied with a wink that makes psychobilly so damn cool.
Eric Myers is a Contributing Writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.