The Graveyard Mutants – Afterlife Love Machine
Crazy Love Records CLEP64518
Afterlife Love Machine – Bloodlust / Puzzle Girl – The Witch
The Graveyard Mutants are a new trio from Spain. But if the band is new, the musicians are well-known names in the Spanish Rockabilly/Psychobilly and Punk scene.
David (lead vocals and double bass) previously slapped his bass in the Calamitiez and, before that, Smell of Kat. Julio (guitar) also played in the Calamitez, and Miguel drummed for various Punk bands.
Their new venture is one of the best Psychobilly releases I’ve heard in years, along with the Rusty Robots and the Nevrotix. But since the genre has seen many evolutions since its creation, and sometimes not for the best, and to avoid confusion, the term early-Psychobilly would be more appropriate (I also thought about borrowing the term Mutant Rock to Paul Fenech). There’s no trace of Metal or Punk in their music, despite the pedigree of some band members. The Graveyard Mutants play their own style of unhealthy Neo-Rockabilly, dealing with weird themes. But don’t think they’re a retro-sounding band trying to imitate what has been done 30 years ago. Even though you could take one of their songs and include it on any compilation album from the 80s without anyone noticing it, their EP, consisting of four self-penned tracks, manages to be, at the same time, a record that unmistakably sounds like a release from 2023. In other words, their music is timeless. That’s a prowess not given to anybody.
Let’s talk a bit about the music in detail. First, if you expect fast tunes, you will be disappointed. The band is clever enough to know that a song, especially a spooky one, needs breath to create an atmosphere. The four songs here are all mid-paced, some even with a slight country beat. The musicianship is also top-notch. I guess you can’t beat experience. David’s bass and Miguel’s drums work well together, blending to create a perfect rhythm section. Too often, the drums are poorly played and just here to give the tempo, or the band thinks that they have to put the bass and especially the slap to the fore, destabilising the ensemble’s sound. Not here. Then you have an excellent guitar player playing with a clean sound who favours fast licks instead of powerful chords. Then those licks explode into hot solos that are always inventive. Woah! With such a setting, David just has to add his confident and powerful voice, though he never shouts or screams, to these four excellent mutant gems.
Icing on the cake, Crazy Love released it in five different colours (black, green, yellow, red, mixed colors and white).
Fred “Virgil” Turgis