The Haxans – Party Monsters


A full-on B-movie soundtrack feel with a huge sense of fun…

Allan thinks that releasing this on Friday 13 October 2017 is completely and utterly perfect…

Since the dawn of death pop, I’ve always had a hankering for more bands that can blend ultra-heavy pounding riffs with pop sensibilities. It’s a difficult genre to find, not the least because anyone involved in that particular scene seems to give themselves a different label – in the case of The Haxans, they’ve gone with ‘goth pop’.

So, who are they? The duo is a collaboration between Ash Costello (New Year’s Day) on vocals and Matt Montgomery a.k.a. Piggy D (who plays bass for Rob Zombie). Elements of both bands permeate the sound – the huge production that gives a huge amount of grit and presence to the guitar and drums, for example, or the kitschy horror feel exemplified by the cover of ‘Party Time’ from Return of the Living Dead or ‘Vampira’, a tribute to the late, great Maila Nurmi herself (as well as being a showcase for Ash’s vocal talents to boot).

The thing with death pop is that it sits in a narrow niche – people who adore both pop and rock in equal amounts with a penchant for gothic sensibilities are often rare. However, it really should be massively more popular – there’s a playfulness and bounce to this coupled with the heavy crunch that just makes it so much fun that you can’t help but want to bop around the room while you listen to it. At times reminiscent of Lady Gaga at her very best, it has more heavy guitar and drum work and a darker lyrical sensibility. It’s the best of so many worlds – the fun and easy accessibility and the sheer dance-ability of pop coupled with the balls and drive and weight and heaviness of rock with the over-the-top imagery and cheesiness of goth and horror movies layered on top to give it a theatricality that just can’t be had elsewhere.

But all of that comes in a distant second to the music itself – and I’m glad to say that it easily lives up to expectations. The bounce and verve of tracks like opener ‘Lights Out’ hook you immediately with a dirty guitar riff that’s somewhere between surf-rock and industrial, or the utterly filthy ‘Dirty Magic’ that seems destined for the stripper’s pole. At least, I hope it is, because it would be a waste of some of the finest electronic rock I’ve heard this year.

I love this album. It’s full of personality, and never gets stuck doing the same thing. Each track is distinctive and even within the variation there’s still a full-on B-movie soundtrack feel with a huge sense of fun. Give it a listen, and I guarantee you’ll be putting it on your Hallowe’en playlist this year and for years to come.

The Haxans – Party MonstersTrack list:

  1. Lights Out
  2. Young Blood
  3. Dirty Magic
  4. Black Cat Bone
  5. Party Time
  6. Chains
  7. Witch Wave
  8. I Think Of Demons
  9. Professional Weirdo
  10. Slick Black Coffin
  11. Boo
  12. Vampira