Zombina and the Skeletones - Taste The Blood Of...
It's a tricky line to bridge, that gap between humour and music. There's always a danger that the comedy element will be stronger and the balance will end up uneven and your left with something throughly dismal and depressing like, say, 'The Baron Knights' or 'The Darkness'. There's no such problem, however with The Skeletones. The humour is always there but they've gone for subtle approach which when your dealing with a subject as rife for plunder as the goth/horror/b-movie field, can't have been easy and there must be a temptation to go over the top. It's to their credit that they haven't. Or perhaps they have but it's only slightly and it's done with such style, sophistication and wit they're forgiven.
Of course, having strong songs helps a great deal and Zombina and her band have those by the bucketful. It's bouncy pop/rock with short, zippy and catchy songs that'll bring a mile wide grin to your face. That's if you have a sense of humour, of course. They've gone for a tongue in cheek, comic book horror image that's sort of geek-cool, Take a look at the cover to see the sort of thing we mean, and while we're on the subject, the artwork is excellent and by someone called Art Baltazar and brings to mind the work of Peter Bagge. If you already know who Peter Bagge is, then rest assured, this album will probably appeal to you.
'Nobody Likes You When You're Dead' is the first song that'll probably stick with you. It's a great up-tempo pop/rock song with an absolutely killer chorus complete with burbling keyboards. Zombina can actually hold a note as well, and, perhaps more importantly, has superb delivery and timing - A star in the making, if there's any justice in the world. 'The First Kiss (Cuts Deepest)' highlights this, a sort of old-school rocker ballad with some nice harmonies.
This is an album with many little gems. 'Horror Highschool' sounds like the sort of thing 'The Ramones' could have churned out - a punky pastiche of those 1950's style rock songs. Actually, The Ramones isn't a bad point of reference for these as far as the comic book sensibilities are concerned even if the music is a little more pop orientated. 'Leave My Brain Alone' showcases the sort of humour we're dealing with nicely; a sort of plea for aliens to leave us alone. 'Ape Man' is in similar vein and is catchy and funny all at the same time and that really is what they do best.
Zombina and the Skeletones offer much, Great little songs that are well written and constructed, a good sense of humour, good lyrics and little bit of sophistication in a dumb world. It's a short album (but leave it run after the last track for a minute or two) so it doesn't really outstay it's welcome and leaves you wanting a little bit more which is always a good thing. It's available from the website at the moment, which you will find here and have a look at the merchandise while you're there. You'll never resist the temptation to order a Zombina clock. We've seen them live as well, so have a look at that. There's some groovy pics.