Horror rock has a long and ... well, interesting lineage. You could argue it started with Screaming Jay Hawkins, and has continued up to the present, through such acts as Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson. Modern horror rock, at least in the Zombie/Manson line, has moved toward electronic sounds, a little industrial and a little bastard techno. Looking at the cover to Wednesday 13's latest, Fang Bang, you might expect more of the same. I certainly did.
Well, I was wrong, and amusingly so. Wednesday 13 may look like Marilyn Manson with Tesla hair and an eating disorder, and his lyrics all revolve around horror movies and things that go bump in the night, but he and his eponymous band rock like refugees from the J-105 playlist: fast, hard and loud. Even while I was smiling at the tongue-in-cheek silliness of the lyrics--and really, what can you expect from songs with titles like "Morgue Than Words" and "Buried with Children"?--I was enjoying the rhythm and roar of Wednesday's driving guitar riffs and the maniacally gleeful Ghastly on drums. Wednesday's voice is a remarkably strong instrument, given that he looks like he'd blow away in a stiff breeze, and he uses it to good effect, whether he's singing about stitching up his love on "Curse of Me" or leading an Aussie drinking chorus on "Happily Ever Cadaver."
Overall, these songs sound like they were made for bongoing around the dance floor at the local dive and bouncing off your friends at high speed. A lot of horror rock bands take themselves way too damn seriously, but Wednesday 13 seems to enjoy the gimmick for what it is; their focus is on the music, not the look. As a result, Fang Bang is a disc well worth the pocket green.