RECENTLY DECEASED, THE: Never Trust the Living: CD

I thought horror punk had to include some rockabilly horseshit or a direct Misfits bite, but maybe all you have to do is have some spooky art and sing about being dead or whatever to pass, because with The Recently Deceased you mostly get clean metal licks while two singers trade off singing parts, sticking to those macabre themes. They try out all sorts of vocal styles, biting everyone from Danzig to Lux Interior to Dio and fail at all of them, sounding like a choked Bruce Springsteen, a vigorous karaoke singer, or, at their very worst, Homer Simpson (really!). The galloping power chords switch to gothic power ballads about being in love with the undead or some shit. All are well-played but don’t really succeed on any level. As someone who already thinks horror punk is shticky, cheesy, and trite, The Recently Deceased certainly didn’t sway my opinion, but they’re not completelywithout charm. I’m not reaching for something nice when I say this two-piece really seems to love what they’re doing, snotty critics be damned. Sure, I could say this about plenty of sucky bands I’ve reviewed here but I don’t. They really do stand out in that way, not enough to make me listen to it more than once, but there is that. They dedicate this album to their former band member and buddy who “(chose) a family and a life of saving lives over playing music” by joining the Baltimore City Firefighters. That’s kind of sweet. 

 –Craven Rock (1332, therecentlydeceased.com)