Acid Witch - Midnight Movies EP - (8/10)
Published on April 4, 2015
Genre:Psychedelic Doom / Death
Label:Hells Headbangers Records
I love horror movies. I love horror movies almost as much as fellow TMO writer Matt Reifschneider loves Kung Fu movies. So it’s no surprise that horror-themed bands, particularly doom/death bands, are some of my favorites. Acid Witch, the cult Midwestern doom/death band, loves horror movies too, as their new EP, Midnight Movies, makes abundantly clear.
Midnight Movies consists of covers taken mostly from 80s underground metalsploitation films. It feature’s Sorcery’s “I’m Back” from Rocktober Blood, Fastway’s “After Midnight” from Trick or Treat, Black Roses’ “Soldiers of the Night” from Black Roses, and 45 Grave’s “Partytime” from the classic horror/comedy Return of the Living Dead. Midnight Movies is a blast, although it’s also very different from Acid Witch’s past work.
Midnight Movies is not the doom/death we’ve come to expect from Acid Witch. It’s essentially Acid Witch’s take on 80s hair metal, with some keys and raspy growls for good measure. The result is campy, much like the films the songs are from, but also extremely catchy. The falsettos on “I’m Back” and some of the samples like the prank call closing “I’m Back” and the dialogue at the beginning of “Partytime” add a comedic element to Midnight Movies as well. Midnight Movies is funny and cheesy, much like the greats of 80s horror themselves.
What’s most interesting though is that underneath all the cheese Midnight Movies displays a band that’s talented. To completely switch styles just for fun and have it succeed as well as Midnight Movies succeeds is not easy. If it were, most cover albums wouldn’t be pointless and dull as they often are. The clean vocals are unexpectedly well done, particularly on “Soldiers of the Night.” The keys and crusty rasps sprinkled throughout the EP are more in line with Acid Witch’s past work and the band worked them in so naturally they sound like they could have been there all along. Of course, it helps that Acid Witch picked good songs to cover for this EP to begin with; “Fast” Eddie Clarke is mostly known for his work in Motörhead, but Fastway is a solid band and Black Roses, despite being fictional, included Carmine Appice and Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot).
Midnight Movies is proudly 80s, as if the artwork alone didn’t give that away. It’s a very fun listen and despite being a gimmick, it does not come off like a throwaway experiment. It walks a fine line between homage and parody and captures the tone of cheesy 80s horror like few others. It’s schlock, but good schlock.