The beast with six hands
The new Groovie Ghoulies album Monster Club, which just slipped across the transom late Monday, pretty much sums up everything great about this fine, fine local band. Yep, it’s got one bona-fide new song, but in “The Lizard King,” singer and bassist Kepi gives props to Godzilla and disses rock icon Jimbo Morrison in the same breath, so that fact pretty much marks it as a classic.
There are some really great re-recordings, too: “The Beast With Five Hands” (from 1996’s Born in the Basement) now has nifty backup vocals by guitarist Roach and drummer Scampi straight out of the Shadow Morton playbook, and the tune jumps out of the speakers like, well, a cartoon beast from a sugar-overloaded box of breakfast cereal. “Blood Beach,” “The Blob” and “Do the Bat,” all from the 1989 debut Appetite for Adrenochrome, are given similarly energetic retoolings. The same goes for “50,000 Spaceships (Watching Over Me),” from 1996’s World Contact Day; and “Running With Bigfoot,” the title cut from a four-song EP from 1997.
But wait, there’s more: cover versions of Daniel Johnston’s “Deviltown” (which opens the 12-song set; a Neil Diamond tune by way of the Monkees, “Lookout, Here Comes Tomorrow”; a tune called “The King Kong Stomp,” which may or may not be from an obscure 1964 album titled Dracula Sings; a Kenny Wayne tune by way of Herman’s Hermits, “Don’t Go Out Into the Rain (You’re Going to Melt)”; and the Ramones’ fine “Pet Sematary,” which closes this fine 26-minute CD. (Contrary to popular opinion, that’s the perfect length for an album, Ummagumma fans.)
Monster Club was released in Europe a few months ago, and now Springman Records—which also has reissued the Ghoulies’ entire catalog—releases it stateside this week. It’s either a great introduction or a neat summation of the Groovie Ghoulies’ knack for combining the imagery of Saturday-morning cartoons with Saturday-night monster-movie shows and then tying the beast to a fuel-injected four-on-the-floor Ramones-derived chassis.
You can pick the album up this weekend, when the Ghoulies play two shows at Old Ironsides, 1901 10th Street. On Friday, September 12, they play with the reunited Decibels, an added treat of top-notch power pop, along with Hypnotic 4. The show starts at 9 p.m., and it’s probably a $7 cover. And on Sunday, September 14, the Ghoulies play an all-ages matinee at Old Ironsides with the Phenomenauts, the Helper Monkeys and the Secretions. That one starts at 4 p.m.; call the club to find out the cover charge.