Genki Genki Panic
Ghoulie High Harmony
When a band describes themselves as “instrumental horror surfer rock,” it’s kind of a trick to know what to expect. Are we talking something like Dick Dale or maybe early Beach Boys? Nope.
Chattanooga-based Genki Genki Panic has carved out their own corner in an already niche genre. With just two members—“Chancho” and “El Fatsquatch”—Genki Genki Panic produces a quirkily fun album that wades around in the dark and strange, but still occasionally meanders into the sunlight for a breath. All in all, Ghoulie High Harmony is an album I’d never expect to hear in 2015—because sometimes you forget about a type of music. But Genki Genki Panic’s Ghoulie High Harmony is here to make you remember.
The album is filled with song titles like “HPV Lovecraft” and “Sexting the Dead” that give it that eerily playful feel. The song I’m most immediately drawn to is “Camp Crystal Lake.” The staccato guitar rhythms are mirrored by the bass, and a dark dissonance plays on top of the whole thing. The drums sit in the back with hi-hat grooves and interwoven tom-toms.
“Camp Crystal Lake” is the only song on the album with a guitar solo, and even that only lasts for half a minute, but it feels great in the midst of the riff-laden album.
Ghoulie High Harmony is a strong first effort by Genki Genki Panic. The album is uniform in purpose and precise in execution. Reigniting the surfer-rock genre with a classic horror movies twist is something that’s not been done before, and these guys are doing it well.
The album is quick, dark and fun. Here’s hoping Genki Genki Panic transfers their album efforts to a live stage—Halloween’s not too far away.
The Dead Deads
Nashville’s The Dead Deads are playing Rhythm & Brews here in Chattanooga soon and have also found a spot in this year’s Riverbend festival lineup. I love when Nashville comes to Chattanooga, but I’ve not heard of The Dead Deads before. And I’ve been missing out this whole time.
The Dead Deads are a five-piece all-female rock band. Their music dips its pen in grunge, punk, alternative, and even dance. Appropriately released on Halloween of 2014, Rainbeau marks the first full-length album of The Dead Deads.
As soon as the album boots up, the dance-beat is obviously influential. Not that the music is so simple as that, but this is definitely an album that will make a crowd jump and swing to the booming rhythm.
The album seems to owe, if unintentionally, a nod to Rob Zombie with its industrial drums, fuzzy bass, dark vocal harmonies and dance-oriented pacing. That being said, Rainbeau gets heavier and more poppy than Rob Zombie depending on the track. Middle-of-the-album “Nope” surprised me with a slow breakdown paired with deep almost-death metal screams. Even more surprising is when the next track “Radio” plays and dives headfirst into The Dead Deads’ pop awareness.
Rainbeau serves as a genre-bending crossroads that crashes all of rock-n-roll’s forms together. And what comes away from that crash is surprisingly cohesive, intact and direct. Listening to Rainbeau, it’s easy to imagine The Dead Dead’s pulling off killer high-energy live shows.
The final title track “Rainbeau” plays, and you can feel the climax of a live show in this song. The lasting strength of Rainbeau is its inescapable energy that will force your feet to kick and your head to bang.