Rock! Shock! Pop!: Thee Gravemen "Haunted"
Thee Gravemen are a garage rockabilly duo of two expatriate Englishmen who found themselves calling Sweden home, Sir Lee Tea handles guitar and vocal duties whilst Devilish Daz is the funky drummer. These two gentlemen have a pedigree rooted firmly in the proud British tradition of playing insanely awesome rock and roll, they got together a couple years back to play a Johnny Cash Tribute show and decided to roll with it, Anydamnway, let's get to the review!
The a-side "Haunted" opens with wind whistling and thunder rumbling in the background, then the chugging guitar and tribal drums kick in. Sir Lee Tea in all his raspy glory serenades us with a love song about being haunted by the memory of a lost love, he never specifies if the girl merely left or departed this mortal coil, which I feel adds a nice touch to the song. Listening to the way Tea phrases his vocals you can tell he has drank from the chalice of our late and lamented Lux Interior, the yelps that close out the song also bring to mind Charlie Feathers. I could easily see this song being on a rockabilly comp along with Jackie Morningstar or Ronnie Dawson, these boys know how to write a good horror rock song without coming off as camp.
The b-side is a Screaming Lord Sutch cover called "All Black And Hairy", gotta love any song that starts off with the sounds of somebody shoveling dirt! "Last night, I was digging in the cemetery when up jumped a man all black and hairy!" Was our protagonist out digging graves or robbing them? Regardless, he happens across a monster whilst in the bone orchard and starts hauling ass, the monster continues on to hell and our man is free.....or is he? At night while trying to sleep, he's always frightened that his buddy might show back up. Maybe it's just me but I've always preferred listening to covers of Screaming Lord Sutch songs as opposed to the original, I think Sutch is just a bit too tongue in cheek for my taste.
They've got this 7" and a 12" available from the always reliable Dirty Water Records. if you ain't the record buying type, the tracks are also available for download or you can buy the 12" on cd. Do yourself a favor and check this out!
PS I'm in love with the back cover art of a haunted castle with skeletons, spiders, headless men, a scantily clad lady and thee mainmen themselves
I give it a 10/10.