groovie ghoulies-monster club

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This record from US 3-piece, Groovie Ghoulies, is a revelation. ‘Monster Club’ is 12 of their out of print and hard to get songs which have been lovingly re-recorded. When bands re-record their older material it often means that they have run out of original ideas, but Groovie Ghoulies seem to wallow in playful originality all through this album. The sound that they produce is not revolutionary, but this is pop punk at its finest and most comic. All 3 members (Kepi, Scampi and Roach) are highly competent musicians and their delivery never lacks energy or commitment, but that is not really the point. The strength of this album is that it is, at times, truly funny and original. The conceit, which runs through the entire album, is 1950s horror movies and includes a cover of ‘Pet Cemetery’ by the Ramones. Admittedly the joke occasionally comes perilously close to wearing thin, but there is enough gusto from the band to hold the attention of the listener.The standout tracks are ‘The Lizard King’, which introduces an amusing Jim Morrison v. Godzilla scenario, ‘The Beast with Five Hands’ and ‘Running with Bigfoot’. This is certainly not a band who take themselves seriously, but that does not mean that they refuse to take their music seriously. Don’t be fooled, the harmonies are well worked and Kepi’s vocals are well rehearsed and executed. What is also a great achievement is that Groovie Ghoulies manage to insert blistering veins of intelligence and completely unexpected twists and turns on an album such as this, without making it seem like a laboured effort. For example, I suspect that very few of their contemporaries would have the audacity, or indeed skill, to pull off a Neil Diamond cover like the Groovie Ghoulies do with ‘Lookout Here Comes Tomorrow’. Above all, this album is fun, and unlike much of the bland pop punk out there at the moment, the Groovie Ghoulies have enough intelligence and a sense of humour to set them apart from the crowd.

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