reviewed by Jack Derricourt
The inflatable headless horseman up the street is kindly letting me know it’s time for Halloween. All Hallow’s Eve. Devil’s Night. You get it.
Well, the wonderful Hamilton highwire act of Scarlett and Disher have a release just in time for this horror fest. Half Halloween dance party, half John Carpenter slasher movie score, Nightmare House is a fantastic seasonal release.
Electronic synths of darkness and terror litter this lovely release. Laura Scarlett’s lead femme vocals are reminiscent of Siouxsie and her many Banshees. It’s all very playful, blending 80s beats and tones with more contemporary song structures.
Single “He Will Kill Again” had me in fits of trick or treating joy: blasts of black as night synthesizers, Rocky Horror style verse lyrics, and incredibly layered chorus vocals. “Nightmare” — in two parts — offers some Clockwork Orange sinister atmosphere coupled with Miami Vice drum beat spice. Juicy.
The second half of the album offers potential themes and leitmotivs for the imaginary slasher flick Nighmare House. It’s a lot of fun, with most of the pieces sticking around two minutes or so. I would honestly leave this playing on my porch, sitting dressed up like a jack-o-lantern, ready to scare kids as they came up for candy. Muhawhawhawhaw.
So this one’s not quite the “Monster Mash,” but then again nothing is. If you want a dance album coupled with the soundtrack from Evil Dead Nightmare on the Psycho Massacre Shining, then Scarlett and Disher have you covered!
Top Track: “He Will Kill Again”
Rating: Spooky Hoot (Very Good)