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Serpenteens | Dead Men Walking | review | punk | Lollipop


Dead Men Walking (Blood and Guts)
by Ewan Wadharmi

"If you can't stand the sight of blood, close your eyes when you read this comic book!" warned the '70's ads for the Kiss graphic novel printed in the band's own blood. As close to metal Kiss got at that time was their faces on a lunchbox, and I've often envisioned myself smashing Paul Stanley with his own licensed likeness whilst screaming "Kiss this, made-for-TV's Star Child!" Dead Men Walking brings back that cartoon version of hard rock I so eschewed as a critical youth. But whereas Gene Simmons had his waggling tongue dripping red corn syrup on the stage, Serpenteens keep their tongues in their cheeks. Covering such subjects as zombies, aliens, monsters, zombie aliens, werewolves, and zombies, the songs really span the Saturday matinee genre.

Be advised: Singer Fang Alphamayle yields an amazingly rich, mature voice that truly must be heard to be believed. Somewhat resembling Ozzy, but really that doesn't begin to fairly describe it, except that I'd listen to him sing anything, anywhere. "X-Ray Eyes!" has a late '60s happy poppy garage sound and rousing, tight harmonies inexplicably reminiscent of Eddy Grant's pre-reggae band, The Equals (Baby Come Back). Go back a decade, as Serpenteens' doo-wop their unholy matrimony to "Zombie Bride." There's a killer gold-rush trip to "Hell California" on the spaghetti western tip. The rest of the disc is a fine mixture of Sabbath and Misfits featuring graciously round guitar work with thick outlines like comic strips, satisfying driving rhythms, and sneaky melodies. Did I mention great soaring harmonies? Hands off my copy. Get your own.


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