I discovered Ghoultown by way of Solitude Aeturnus, my all-time favorite doom-metal band. Count Lyle, vocalist and once a bassist in Solitude Aeturnus, founded Ghoultown in the late 90s. The epic, somber tones of his doom days are not to be found here, though. Instead, Ghoultown plays southern gothabilly mixed with horrorpunk on a Spaghetti Western binge, a house band for a hoedown in Hell.
Life After Sundown is the band’s sixth album, and easily their best to date. It begins with “Cruel Winds of Dusk,” an intro that elicits images of an imminent showdown on the main street of a lawless desert town. And maybe that’s the point, as “Dead Outlaw” follows, barging out the saloon’s batwing doors, drunk on firewater and ready to kill. “Against a Crooked Sky” and “Werewolves on Wheels” keep that punk rockabilly spirit kicking up dust, as do “Find a Good Horse” and “Under the Phantom Moon.”
“I Spit on Your Grave” is a sweaty ode to vengeance, while “London Dungeon” is a dark country and western take on the Misfits’ punk classic. Life After Sundown is a fantastic album, but the brilliance of “Drink with the Living Dead” is what truly sets Ghoultown apart from the other bands spinning yarns about drinkin’ and fightin’ and causin’ a cowboy ruckus. “Drink with the Living Dead” is exactly what its title suggests, a six-minute cautionary tale about a liquefied showdown with the ghost of Stanton Cree. Pure lyrical and musical genius.
Like its predecessors, Life After Sundown is a masterful piece of work, only this time it’s even better. Ghoultown has created the perfect soundtrack for a drunken night of poker, murder, and whorin’…
Zoviet Records | 2008 | 12 tracks (43:21) | File Under: Hellbilly Horror Rock
Originally appeared in Shock Totem #1, July 2009.