Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

May 23, 2010

Mary Shelley Overdrive ~ Shock Theatre (EP)

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: experimental, shock rock, heavy metal, psychobilly, surf, garage
Label: Rigorous Mortis Records
Year: 2007
Home: Columbia, South Carolina

Members: Mark Wood, Simon McCorkindale, Miss Wyckedevil Jones, Artistic Whit ~ all instruments

A strange debut release. One of the stranger albums I've heard. MSO is trying to do something musicially but it comes off detrimental to the music ... on the other hand maybe the goal of this album is to sound not like an album but a soundtrack to my next door neighbor's self-made horror film. In that case, they do a good job. "Jack The Ripper" opens with the cry "Monsters, sex & rock'n'roll" followed by a super condensed guitar (i.e. it sounds like the sound is cutting in & out) joined by a simple surf beat & some shouting of some simple vocals (i.e. "I see him coming near, get away") about facing Jack the Ripper or a monster & interspliced with the shout "Jack the Ripper" though it sounds like "Jack the rubber", which would give some new depth to this depthless wanna-be Rob Zombie soundtrack. Or, at least, that would be the shock theatre part. "House Of A Thousand Corpses" opens with a Frankenstein movie excerpt & is basically a country-esque 3 note riff on a guitar heavy on the reverb. There's also some distorted guitars & a female & distorted voice male trading lines ... a strange song but the highlight of the album albeit country music on LSD. Maybe this is the shock part? "Halloween" is a real Rob Zombie stomp, the first metal song, but sans any real head-banging stomp it goes along so slowly on one chord for the entire verse. Yes, one chord played in four strums is the entire riff. Maybe in someone else's hands it might be more interesting but here & bumbered with some strange musical experiments, it noticiably lacks any punch. This is a band that would be better off to ignore the studio tweaks & let the music shine, unless their goal is extreme wierdness & something that doesn't headbang. I'd really like to hear them live & see what they really sound like or maybe a later release. I like surf & shock rock, but I also like the experiment to work. It's a nice effort but I think they got too caught up in the effort & the idea of it. There's covers on here by the Misfits & Rob Zombie, but the essence of those bands is gone as MSO try too hard to imitate & scare & do neither. The other thing with shock rock is that it's very tongue-in-cheek. This is a band taking itself way too serious. Also features the songs "Halloween", "Shock Theatre Overture" & odd barely literal soundtrack musical piece "New Orleans Funeral For Evil Elvis," of which the highlight is the name. Though, if you're looking for metal, surf & country all on the same album with lots of shallow shock rock that doesn't really shock ... have I got a Xmas present for you! On another note, I couldn't find but one picture of MSO. What type of band doesn't show themselves? Don't answer that.

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