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Pitch Black | review | horror | punk | Lollipop

Pitch Black

by Morgan Coe

This CD had two strikes against it before I even opened the case: A "spooky" cartoon girl on the cover and "spooky" song titles like "The Wrath" and "Funeral Notice." As you can probably guess, AFI is a pretty big influence here. But I'll give the Devil his due: If you can get past the silliness, some of these songs aren't bad. For instance, "Spotlight" describes what seems to be an attack by murderous midgets with a pseudo-rockabilly feel and energy to spare, and "Doctor's Orders" rocks pretty hard, once you get past the bits they borrowed wholesale from "(Welcome Home) Sanitarium." Unlike some "spooky" punk bands, Pitch Black actually manage to maintain a somewhat consistent feel throughout the songs, only rarely slipping into the "creepy intro + ordinary song" formula. Although the keyboards are more or less wasted (the poor guy hardly gets to play at all, and when he does, it feels like an afterthought), the music is surprisingly atmospheric for what is otherwise a pretty straightforward punk band.

Aside from the original Misfits, few bands have managed to pull off the "horror-punk" thing without sounding goofy at least some of the time, and Pitch Black is no exception: The words can be pretty ludicrous, and the band doesn't sound too comfortable when they slow down to "spooky" tempos, which is often. I'd give them the same advice I'm giving you: Listen to the (original, obviously) Misfits, listen to early Murder City Devils, and decide for yourself if you need more in that vein.
(PO Box 5232 Huntington Beach, CA 92615)

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