Ask the everyday horror fan what type of music they’re into and I’m willing to bet that country/bluegrass is pretty low on the list. I find this to be rather interesting as many of the classic horror movies definitely fall under the ‘Southern Gothic’ category. But putting that aside, it’s usually rock or metal as well as hip-hop and rap. The country genre doesn’t seem to get a lot of love from the horror community, which is a shame as it is chock full of incredible music and seriously twisted and demented lyrics.
So when I got a review copy of The Bloody Jug Band’s debut LP Coffin Up Blood, I have to admit I was immediately intrigued. Just looking at the cover, with a bearded skeleton strumming a guitar on top of a coffin as it floats down a river of blood, I knew I was in store for something different. Popping it in, I eased back with a chilled beer and a slight sense of apprehensive excitement.
The album opens up with Graverobbers Blues, a cacophony of screams backing up an announcer who warns the listener to watch out for Death and Judgment. The music then kicks in, a toe-tapping, almost happy sounding track that makes great use of the male-female vocal harmonies between singers Cragmire Peace and Stormy Jean. Immediately, it’s apparent that this isn’t the commercial/popular country that is blasted on radio stations constantly. This is true Southern bluegrass that takes full advantage of washboards, harmonicas, and mandolins. End of the story: It’s a joy to listen to.
The production of the album is spot on. Beautifully recorded and mixed accordingly, every instrument stands out and shines without overpowering another.
Standout tracks include the heavily layered Roadkill Boys, which is beautifully arranged and builds up wonderfully, and the main single Chained To The Bottom, which I must’ve played over and over at least ten times before allowing myself to continue on with the album.
The Final Word: What The Bloody Jug Band has in Coffin Up Blood is an album that is perfectly suited to shatter preconceptions and open the eyes (and ears) of a whole new audience to the country/bluegrass genre. Full of infectious, entertaining songs, I highly recommend this album.
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