DAHMERS, THE: Terror on Wheels: 7”

Though I’ve long considered Jeffrey Dahmer to be the most sympathetic of the famous serial killers, Swedish band The Dahmers’ choice to utilize the Milwaukee Cannibal’s name led me to expect some seriously evil tunes. Terror on Wheels kicks off with a quote from Roger Corman’s 1966 Hell’s Angels flick, The Wild Angels, in which Peter Fonda demands the freedom to ride bikes without getting “hassled by The Man.” When opening track, “The Ripper,” starts in earnest, it’s… really fun, bouncy garage rock’n’roll with shades of carnival music. “Hit ‘n’ Run” is more driving—ba-dum-ching!—but still features jaunty hand-claps to accompany its refrain of “I kill for fun.” The third track, “Howling”—which, yes, begins with a howl—is a dyed-in-the-wool, ‘70s-inspired pop rock anthem about making deals with the devil and baying at full moons. The closer, “I Spit on Your Grave,” ups the ante with an extra side of menace and ripping guitar antics that balance out its frankly adorable “oo-oo-oo”s. Overall, Terror on Wheels is a perfect blend of ‘70s kitsch, horror movie reverence, evil intention, and feel-good garage rock bangers. Their catchy songs may stand in stark contrast to the dark images The Dahmers’ moniker evokes, but then again, Jeffrey “I’ve got to start eating at home more” Dahmer did have his own distinctive sense of whimsy. –Kelley O’Death (Lövely, [email protected], LLYrecords.com)