NECRO SHOCK RADIO: Session 3-13 – The Halloween Hootenanny!

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Hey, everyone! It’s Uncle NecRo’s favorite time of the year! And to celebrate, I’ve whipped up a special Halloween Hootenanny for this session of Brutal Music Therapy!

Featuring cuts from:

graveyard bats - crush your lie the deadlines - the life and death of... rackets & drapes - trick or treat kryst the conquerer grave robber - be afraid dark night - night of halloween coriolis - coriolis blaster the rocketboy - succulent space food for teething vampires alice cooper - the last temptation



Music Review: RACKETS & DRAPES – Trick Or Treat

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rackets & drapes - trick or treat
Trick Or Treat

Don’t think the rating has anything to do with the fact that I happen to be a ravenous, drooling fan of the band. No, the reason for the high rating is because ‘Trick Or Treat’, compared with their first release ‘Candyland’, is better. Tons better. Better production, better musicianship, better packaging, better spooky-ness. . .’Trick Or Treat’ is to ‘Candyland’ as the steak and shrimp dinner at the local steak house is to the Big Mac combo meal. Not that a Big Mac is bad, but given the choice, man. . .

On ‘Trick Or Treat’, Rackets & Drapes seem to be more and more resembling that mechanism they used on Malcolm McDowell to force him to watch the behavior modification film in “A Clockwork Orange”: Take, for example, the song “Medicine Head”. It’s drug addiction from the viewpoint of the addict. It starts off with the phrase “When I grow up, I wanna be a junkie”, then continues to shock the listener by stating “Won’t someone kill me, I want to die / I can’t find freedom in suicide”. Heavy? Yes. Considering the untold numbers of people locked in a cell of addiction, “Medicine Head” forces the Christian listening to it to see what it really is, and leaves it up to the listener to do something about it. “On Your Knees” equates being in bondage to sin with the S&M lifestyle: “Tie, tie, tie you down, the chains you wear they keep you bound, too long / Slap, slap, slap your lip when the master cracks the whip, you crawl”. “Plastic Jesus” is a Haunted Remix version from the original found on the ‘Sick And The Beautiful’ e.p. It’s better, I think, because of the (what sounds like) a live studio drummer instead of the usual drum machine.

I’m not going to spoil the rest of the CD for you. You’ll have to purchase ‘Trick Or Treat’, at your own risk, to check out all of the other goodies. . .

Music Review: RACKETS & DRAPES – The Sick + The Beautiful

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rackets & drapes - the sick and the beautiful
The Sick + The Beautiful
Haunted House Records

Before I launch into the review, let me get one thing off of my chest: RACKETS AND DRAPES ARE NOT A MARILYN MANSON RIP-OFF! There, now I can proceed. . .

‘The Sick And The Beautiful’ is a limited-edition CD EP that the band released as a way to keep their ravenous fans at bay while they record their follow-up to ”Candyland”. As an EP, this is waaaay cool. I don’t know how they manage to freak me out as they do, but they do! In a good way, mind you. The guitars shriek, the keyboards add that little bit of ooky-ness, and the song topics really go in directions that I haven’t seen other Christian bands go.

Let’s start at the beginning. “Mommy Dearest” is a short, one-minute little intro dealing with child abuse. Up next is “Plastic Jesus”, a song dealing with idols that Christians can all-too-often set up in place of our true risen Saviour. “Kill Yourself” uses suicide as a figurative metaphor to putting to death the fleshly, worldly desires and following Christ as He called us to- by taking up our crosses and crucifying ourselves daily. “Love With A Fist” makes an appearance on here, in a cool Haunted House remix version, simply (I think) better than the original on ”Candyland”. “XXX” deals with the problem of pornography. And, to sweeten the pot, so to speak, there’s a fifteen minute-plus pseudo-interview called “Storytime With Rackets And Drapes” that you need to hear to believe (sample: “Will you be doing any covers of country songs on the new album, and which one?” Kandy: “Definitely not.” Larve: “Achy-Breaky Heart.”)

Listen, the whole “sounds like Marilyn Manson” tag just doesn’t do the band justice. If you’re into Alice Cooper-type theatrics and would like to see a Christian band tackle the hard topics in a very, very Biblically sound way, Rackets & Drapes is for you. ‘The Sick And The Beautiful’, as a release from the band, is very solid in and of itself. This deserves to be part of your R&D collection, no doubt. . .

Music Review: RACKETS & DRAPES – Love Letters From Hell


rackets & drapes - love letters from hell
Love Letters From Hell

Well, after two EP’s, two full-length albums, enduring shady label deals, being the target of mud and stone throwers, and finally dissolving in 2001 (resulting in the “death” of Kandy Cane), Christianity’s equally loved and reviled shock rock band was briefly raised from the ashes to unleash this lovely parting gift. And this time, this zombie isn’t playing nice.

I would call Love Letters From Hell “electro shock”. Gone are the guitars, the needless “live” drums (found on Trick Or Treat), and sound that had them unfairly slagged as a Manson rip-off (don’t get me started). What’s in their place are abrasive EBM, hard techno beats, and vocals that will chill you one minute and send you running in terror the next. Peppered through it all are various sound clips of Therapy Patients, lending our voices to the songs (in case you’re wondering, my contribution appears at the beginning of “Halloween (Bring Out Your Dead)”, in the form of zombie sounds).

Lyrically, this is perhaps the darkest offering R&D unleashed onto the unsuspecting masses. Believe me, that Parental Advisory sticker on the front of the CD is well-deserved, not because of swearing (none whatsoever), but of the topics. It starts off with a chilling intro, then leads to the ode to the Therapy Patients- “C. O. D.”, which is, by the way, the tamest song on there (with the possible exception of “Stiletto 13”, which is an infectious club instrumental). With titles like “Sex Doll”, “Retail Slut” and “She Devil”, those not accustomed to R&D’s topical prose will definitely be taken aback by the song list on the back cover. “Valentine” metaphorically equates suicide with the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross, offering Himself up because He loves us. “Distortion” takes on the abortion topic. But the biggest shocker of ’em all is saved for the end- “No Place Like Hell”, which takes a very unflinching look at child pornography. I must admit that even I was shaken by the frankness of the lyrics, and you know what they say; when the scary thing gets scared, look out…

Say what you will. When all of Christianity was shouting “Say nice things! Tickle our ears! Say what we want to hear!”, Rackets was doing the unpopular “Isaiah” thing in the Christian subculture. Which is why they’re dead. Stoning will do that to a person. Eh, but bitter rhapsodizing aside, Love Letters From Hell, though rare, gets massive amounts of play on both my CD player and MP3 player program on my computer. It’s my favorite wake-up music…definitely not for the squeamish…

NECRO SHOCK RADIO: April 23rd, 2014

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April 23rd, 2014

I’m back, and I’ve brought another two-ish hour of Brutal Music Therapy with me!

featuring: Anguidara, Behead Demons, Bloody Sunday, Borgazur, Boywunder, Chasm, Day Of Atonement, Dead Turns Alive, Eclipsing Black, Emerald, Espiritual, Ethereal Scourge, Fish Tribe, Grim, Holy Sceptre, Ironwrath, Love Life, Nahum, Neocracy, Powerlab, Rackets & Drapes, Royal Anguish, Sabaothic Cherubim, scaterd-few, Synnove, These Five Down, Vomitorial Corpulence, and Your Chance To Die…

CLICK HERE to stream

CLICK HERE to download

Music Review: ANGRY LITTLE FREAK – Livin’ It Up

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angry little freak - livin it up
Livin’ It Up
Purple Box Records

It may come as a shock to some people reading this, but there was a time, not too long ago in fact, when hard rock and metal were fun. I know, hard to believe for those of you who grew up with music in the 90s, but it’s true. People actually bought albums and went to concerts because the bands and artists put on a really entertaining show. Even with Christian metal, where the message was just as important as the music, it was a fun time. That was before the giant buzz-kill that was the 90s music scenes rained on our fun. What a dark time it was, folks…

And for those who miss the fun times, I direct your attention to Angry Little Freak’s second release, Livin’ It Up. This disc hearkens back to a time before KISS removed their makeup, when Alice Cooper’s stage show was as big as the music, and the hard rock had a heavy hook that begged to be cranked to eleven. Songs like “Reach For The Sky”, “You’re So Cruel”, “Know The Enemy”, “Livin’ It Up”, and “Lady Lust” have that riff-heavy hard rock sound that KISS had on albums like Destroyer back in the day. In fact, speaking of KISS, the song “Tonight” is a reworking of the KISS song “I Was Made For Loving You” (now if I can only talk him into redoing “God Of Thunder”…). If that wasn’t enough, songs like “Step Right Up”, “In The Ground” (love the synth at the beginning), “Miserable Wretch” (which is the most metal of the songs here) and “Dead Ones In The Basement” (which hearkens back to the spooky shock rock of classic Alice Cooper) gives the album some dark touches. Lyrically, Livin’ It Up is by a Christian, for the lost, sticking it in with other classics like Saint’s Times End, Bloodgood’s Detonation and Barren Cross’ Rock For The King…

My only beef with this CD, folks, is that it’s too short. Some of the songs seem to end too early, leaving me hanging. I hunger for more. While I have a sneaking suspicion that Angry Young Freak is better experienced live than on CD, with a beefier production and some killer solos thrown in here and there, future projects have the potential to be epic (not to mention what kind of KISS-like merchandising that can ensue…the Angry Young Freak alarm clocks! Angry Young Freak lunch boxes! Action figures! Comic books! Cheesy Angry Young Freak Meets The Phantom Of The Park movie! But I digress…) Bottom line, check this thing out. You won’t regret it…

Music Review: ANGRY LITTLE FREAK – Self Destruct

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angry little freak - self destruct
Self Destruct
Purple Box Records

As a very small but very tightly-knit sub genre of a sub genre, the shock rock always seems to have been looked upon as the red-headed stepchild (please excuse the figure of speech, all red-headed stepchildren out there) of the darker side of Christian music. We don’t have very many bands and artists that fall neatly into this category; so far, there’s been Rackets & Drapes, The Deadline’s first release on Tooth & Nail Records, and to a certain point Alice Cooper. So, when an artist happens to come along that whets our collective appetites for the strange, bizarre, and totally frightening, we tend to embrace it like the ravenous animals that we are.

Adding to our diminutive collection is the CD Self-Destruct, by Michigan artist Angry Little Freak. While his last effort, Step Right Up, was more of a 70s style hard rock collection with a few songs containing the dark shock metal he’s better known for (I haven’t had the pleasure of hearing the first album, as it went out of print before I could get ahold of it), Self Destruct is, from what he’s told me in correspondence, a return to the dark, edgy guitar-driven shock rock and metal that will definitely appeal to those who crave aggression in their dark musical perusing.

From the album artwork alone, you can tell this isn’t your typical Christian artist. While one can easily slag Angry Little Freak as just another Rackets & Drapes clone, all comparisons based on the cover end there once you hit play and the opening song “Scales” creeps out of you speakers. The music is a deft mix of heavy-as-stink and jagged guitars, doomy rhythms, and atmospheric keyboards, with vocals that can only be described as zombified Alice-In-Chains that complements the mood.

For an independently self-recorded and produced album, the production on Self Destruct is top notch. This is due to the fact that, in the recording process, he kept things simple, using very little digital effects. The production is clean, crisp, and on a very high professional level. Even if he doesn’t record another album, he should really look into producing, he’s got a knack…

Lyrically, Self Destruct was made after some very intense soul-searching. While there is no lyric sheet included in the booklet, the Freak’s vocals are clear and easily understood, all you need to do is listen with an attentive ear. Plunging the depths of his being, Self Destruct comes to the age old conclusion that while life can plunge you into darkness, there’s a Light to be grasped, if you but ask.

In the end, Self Destruct is a very good collection of dark guitar-driven shock, for those who can’t get enough of Alice Cooper’s Raise Your Fist And Yell and Trick-Or-Treat era Rackets…

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