From "Black Wedding" to "Dead By Dawn," there's a certain -- shall we say -- conceptual lyrical thread running through Danish psychobilly trio Nekromantix' latest release, Dead Girls Don't Cry. In fact, it's the same conceptual lyrical thread that ran through Return of the Loving Dead, the band's last Hellcat effort. And through most of the six Nekromantix releases before it. In fact, I wonder if vocalist and coffin-shaped-bass player Kim Nekroman knows any English beyond that learned from George Romero and Sam Raimi movies?
Similarly, Nekromantix haven't learned any new musical tricks: Psychobilly's rules are unwavering -- equal parts Gene Vincent, Dick Dale, Circle Jerks and Slayer. But I'll be damned if anybody does it much better than Nekroman and brothers Peter (guitar) and Kristian (drums) Sandorff. And there are some surprisingly beautiful melodic moments here: The chilled harmonies on "Where Do Monsters Go" raise the bar on monster-psychobilly songwriting, and "A Stone With Your/My Name" is touching, in a nasty and driving sort of way.
Nekromantix recorded Dead Girls Don't Cry in two weeks -- from start of writing to the finishing touches -- and while that sounds like a helluva rush job, it's befitting of an outfit raised from the dead of punk's don't-care negation and rockabilly's old-school factory system. The results are sillier, but also more exciting and viciously engaging than Return of the Loving Dead -- "Struck By a Wrecking Ball" is one of the best punk-rock drinkin' songs since Darkbuster folded, and "Dead Moonwalkin'" has the kind of knowledgeable 'billy shuffle that a lot of "traditional" rockabilly bands could take some notes from.
As long as you've seen Evil Dead II, you might like Dead Girls Don't Cry even without the once-compulsory full-sleeve tattoos and shark-fin pompadour. Just keep your shirtsleeves rolled down when you're at the record counter.