Wednesday 2 September 2015

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - 'The Night Creeper' (Album Review)

By: Phil Weller

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 04/09/2015
Label: Rise Above Records


“Horror films don't create fear. They release it,” – Wes Craven (1939-2015)

‘The Night Creeper’ CD/DD//LP track listing:

1).Waiting For Blood
2). Murder Nights
3). Downtown
4). Pusher Man
5). Yellow Moon
6). Melody Lane
7). The Night Creeper
8). Inside
9). Slow Death
10). Black Motorcade (Hidden Track)

The Review:

Although they may have loosened their grip a little on their true identities, Uncle Acid and his mercurial Deadbeats are still, to borrow a phrase from Sir Winston Churchill, a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Their vaporous, vintage fuzz led sound has poured steadily, like smoke from a flickering fire into the underground’s eyes with a slew of steady and palpable releases since 2010’s ‘Vol 1.’ That smoke is now beginning to seep into the periphery of the mainstream too, and the leviathan sized grooves of ‘The Night Creeper’ both emphasises this band’s status as cult champions of the underground and highlights why, like Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper, two of their major influences, their music has a towering commercial potential.    

Much like the Amicus Productions which have inspired a plethora of their noir recordings, their fourth volume sees them unleashing 10 more blood-dripped tracks, like the mysterious Dr. Schreck does to his fellow train passengers with tales of evil and darkness in Dr Terror’s House of Horrors (1965). Each and every composition reeks of fear and makes your skin crawl; these are the monsters that hide under your bed, these are the footsteps that stalk your lonely, dark and cold walk home through dense fog.  The lurching grooves of opener ‘Waiting For Blood’ shadow over you, commanding your attention instantly. An undercurrent of uneasy Hammond organs and other, chilling textures give the album a charming graininess which reverberates the band’s innate cinematic complexion. Aesthetically the album once more gravitates towards that same element once more; each song itself a horror film within a horror film. But with music, the images aren’t there to scare you and so your crooked imagination becomes all too willing to take its place. Through this thought-provoking song writing, they have concocted something remarkable and they’re basing a career out of it.

‘Inside,’ an instant standout the moment it snaked into my ears, builds upon a consistent thump like a poltergeist destroying a house in the night, by the light of a radiant moon. ‘Melody Lane’ is a twisted bop on which stabbing, doom-rock guitars waltz with psychedelic tinges, together sharing a murderous intent.  With a nod towards their earlier, rawer and altogether creepier work on ‘Vol 1.’, ‘Yellow Moon’ draws from Alice Cooper’s ‘Killer’ for a rancid interlude. It’s soft and – alongside the Easy Rider influenced Stonerisms of its predecessor ‘Pusher Man’ – unassuming, but is arguably the most frightening and atmospheric song on the entire album.

In 2015 Uncle Acid find themselves as a well-established act on the cusp of becoming something of a name so to speak, and so this release comes with the albatross of expectation weighing them down in many ways. They now have a recognised sound and here they stick very much to the toil and trouble of their bubbling potion, but manage to collate the focal points of each of their previous albums into one package smartly.  If the record will be met by their adoring fan base with the same hype and admiration 2011’s insatiable ‘Blood Lust’ was, or be deemed as an adequate successor to the robustness of ‘Mind Control,’ only time will tell. What we do know, however, is that it’s another impressive release from this consistently unique and enrapturing Cambridge quartet.   

‘The Night Creeper’ is available here

Band info: Official | Facebook