Spawn Atomic – PowerPlant EP

(c) 2010 Spawn Atomic
Rating: ★★★½☆

Please stay tuned for this important message, “Whoa whoaa whoa oo oo, whoa whoa whoa. That is all.” San Franciso Horror Punk trio Spawn Atomic knows how it goes. If you want any sort of cred as a horror punk band at all, you gotta have the whoa whoa whoas, and let me tell ya boy they gots ’em.

I know that The Misfits were/are like some sort of ultra-revered be all end all when it comes to the genre, maybe they are, I don’t really care. Mighty Morphin Power Glen can eat it. But you can’t really review the genre without some thinly veiled reference to how much whatever band you are reviewing is or isn’t like The Misfits. So here it comes. Spawn Atomic is reminiscent of a band, who shall remain nameless, known for its early work in the genre. But enough ancient history.

Spawn Atomic PowerPlant EP thrusts upward from the atomic wasteland with six tracks of vampire hunters, zombies and sick sick sex with the aforementioned. The short track length, the uptempo and the raw sound, rarely found outside of a trio, really works. There’s a post-apocalyptic garage band vibe that while certainly is super-scary, is also fun and dare I say endearing.

Beyond the makeup and the intent to shock, the songs have solid structure and musicianship. The vox aren’t caught between a scream and a growl. I for one appreciate the hell out of that. The guitar is distorted. The bass is punchy, the drums percussive. What more do you need? Word on the street is that the band will have a full length out by summer and they have a few West Coast and AZ shows (Phoenix Comicon) set up to back up their releases.

Here’s what it really boils down to. Spawn Atomic, all gimmicks aside (and I’m a sucker for a good gimmick) really screw it on. If you are a fan of punk rock, horror punk, 50s punk etc. then for the evil overlord’s sake, check these sonofatomic mutants out.

–Jerry Actually

Excuse The Blood – Demo EP

(c) 2008 Excuse The Blood
Rating: ★★★☆☆

excuse_the_blood Excuse The Blood is a Bay area 3-piece outfit with a pretty eclectic mix of sounds. Without trying to pigeon hole them, they sound like a mix of Slapshot-esque hardcore and a reggae/ska/punk blend ala Op Ivy or perhaps Rudiments. Despite the obvious influence the music feels fresh. The tempo keeps a good pace through the five tracks. That the disc is only a demo perhaps is the biggest shortcoming. Since I don’t have more of a sampling I’m going with a 3/5 instead of possibly higher. I’d like to hear more from Excuse The Blood. Until such time that a new release comes out, you can check the band out at their website www.excusetheblood.com

–Jerry Actually