Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Voice of Zombierella - the Bone Collectors/the Messer Chups

One of the highlights of this year's Tiki Oasis for me was Russia's the Messer Chups (no idea what the name means). Led by sultry/sexy/scary Zombierella (bass/vocals) and just plain scary Gitaracula (ultra-reverbed guitar) and Dr. Boris (poundin' drums), these ghoulish cats'n'kitten put down a swingin' surf sound with hints of garage, punk, spy-themes and much more. They had one of the best stage sounds of the weekend and had real songs - something that is all-too-often missing with surf-y bands.

This CD is a collection of songs from several records by both the Bone Collectors (apparently, Zombierella and Gitaracula's previous band) and the Messer Chups and many were played at the Tiki O show. On CD some of the gimmicky malevolent laughter gets to be a bit much, but overall, this is a solid mix of instrumental and vocal, reverb-rock'n'roll.

The comp opens with a couple of MC's tunes, and Gitaracula rips'n'roars with hep riffs in "Call Me Zombie" lifting melodies from "Shakin' All Over" mixed with X and the Cramps, among others, to create something of their own, while Zombierella gives a deathly rockabilly vocal performance. This gives you an idea of how the rest will proceed - terrific guitar tone (shades of the Ventures) and plenty of licks that you think you recognize but realize that they are really original, after all. Some bits are more rockabilly than others ("Flesh'n'Blood"), some are silly jokes ("Dracula Hates Photoshootss"/"Dead Down Comedy" - still great playing on these), there are interesting covers (a fab, though somewhat bizarre, "Bela Lugosi's Dead"), a bit of country/spaghetti western ("Death Tattoo"/"Lucretia, My Reflection"), some cool sax ("Rockin' Zombie"), scary spy themes ("Jason Bond 0013") and a little bit of whatever else their twisted minds come up with!

Very groovy stuff all around - excellent playing and tunes! They are currently touring the states, though I don't know for how long - see 'em if ya can!