The Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space – The Return Of

  • Cole Faulkner posted
  • Reviews

The Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space

The Return Of - Fiendforce Records

Horror punk and psychobilly exist as two discrete entities, similar but also quite different.  While it’s true that horror themes make for some common ground, each draws from a decidedly different bag of tricks.  In their purest forms horror punk can sound like a ghoulish take on Bad Religion (i.e. Blitzkid), and psychobilly can sound like an undead Elvis Presley (i.e. Hellbound Hepcats).  But sometimes a band emerges that commands a sound appealing to fans of both camps.  In the world of horror and psychobilly, and with the release of their fifth studio release, The Return Of The Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space, that band is, well, the Blood Sucking Zombies From Outer Space!

Now, I’ve been following this Austrian based group since they practically devoured the German horror scene with their initial release, See You At Disneyland, back in 2004, and while they’ve always stood head and shoulders above the competition, they’ve never quite been able to recreate what gave their debut such a presence – at least until now.

What makes Return Of… such a shoe in is how it combines everything that has made every BZFOS album a success, and coats it in their moodiest, most terrifyingly enjoyable production to date.  As the album cover suggests, Return Of… plays out like a high budget b-movie, filled with memorable characters, cheap thrills, and a lighthearted take on something that could otherwise be rather grim.

The entire album – from lyrics and vocals to themes – just screams of insanity; and I love it.  Over the course of the album’s seventeen tracks, every aspect builds and compounds on the last.  For instance, the calming “Intro” sets an ominous mood, playing like something out of a Hellraiser movie, with special guest narrator Rene De La Muerte’s (of The Brains) deep, unnervingly calm voice spelling out the conditions of the return of those “eaters of the dead,” the Blood Sucking Zombies From Outer Space.  But before listeners have time to find a pillow and hide their eyes, the parodied sound of a classic rock band starts up, making clear that for this invasion listeners should head out to a dance floor or mosh pit, rather than retreat helplessly to the cellar.

Without further delay, they launch into their basic formula with “Max The Taxidermist.”  This is the BZFOS that fans have come to know and love.  Much like their chronicle of Billy The Butcher in 2006’s A Night At Grand Guignol, the track invites listeners into the tormented mind of a fictional killer.  Vocalist Dead “Richy” Gein sounds as insane as ever, gargling through lines and hitting the high notes much in the vein of long running acts like Mad Sin or Mad Dog Cole era Krewmen, really pushing the band into twisted territory.  And thanks to a quick-plucked, stand-up bass thumping beat – and lots of stock horror themed instruments – it all plays out in good fun.

From here The Zombies further explore their blood soaked personae, confidently exploring new ground.  “Bloodshed Boys” throws in some country twang and a big ol’ honky-tonk’n “yeehaw” as they formally introduce their stage personalities (these are guy who perform in full make-up).  But before listeners can dwell too long on this country inclusion, they’re left reeling over the shockingly fitting inclusion of bagpipes in “Mondo Video.”  And don’t get me started on the boisterous “Oi!” shouts that kick off and carry the chorus in “Plainfield Love.”  And for fans that have been waiting patiently for TBZFOS’return to the bone chilling clarity of their acoustic side (originally explored once per album over their first couple releases), there’s the organ enhanced “Bleed.”  Combined with some fun, self-parodying lyrics (like the admission of obsession in “Horror Movie Adict”), and an uncanny ability for reinvigorating otherwise over-used topics (“Public Vampire #1” actually makes for a refreshing take on one of the otherwise most abused icons in classic horror, Dracula), and even with a fifty minute run time, I’m left hungry for more.

So while they were never really gone (releasing no less than five studio releases over six years), this is truly the return of the Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space.  Boasting the perfect fusion of horror punk and psychobilly, the Austrian four-piece really gives substance to the oft-ambiguous phrase, horrorbilly.  Every year I stumble across a horror release that reminds me as to why I keep returning to the at times shallow genre.  Even with the year yet to conclude, I can’t help but feel that Return Of The Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space will land as this year’s top horror contender.