MY FIRST ALBUM REVIEW! (A MUSIC MYSTERY)
Grave Robber: The Cellar Sessions
Having enjoyed horror punkers’ Grave Robber’s full length effort Be Afraid, I was surprised to find their lo-fi cover EP The Cellar Sessions to be so lifeless, if you’ll excuse the pun. I’m no music expert; my reactions are purely visceral with no understanding of technical aspects. That said, I’ve always found horror punk to be hit or miss; maybe 70 -30.
Covers are remarkably common in horror punk. It’s a crossbreed of genres after all, and not meant to be taken too seriously, so why not take a stab at someone else’s material?
Something I learned while researching the band is that they’re a Christian horror punk outfit, which is even more unusual than Christian metal. Interestingly, this 2014 release is not mentioned on their Wikipedia page, or any discography, and neither CD nor digital versions are available on Amazon. Also, their sound from Be Afraid to Sessions is markedly different. Are there TWO bands Christian horror punk bands called Grave Robber???
Onto the music: as mentioned all covers, some of which seem like either really poor or supremely smart ass choices. “Spirit in The Sky,” the seventies Jesus movement anthem, and “The Rose” both come off like a pissed off middle school band playing songs from the approved list for the school dance, but subverting them just to steam the principal.
David Bowie’s Space Oddity is next, but nothing particularly interesting or innovative is done with it. Cyindi Lauper’s Time After Time — same deal.
The album finishes with The Ramones’ I Just Wanna Have Something To Do, which projects none of the original’s nihilistic disaffectedness, but it’s possibility the heaviest track.
Can’t say much positive or negative about the musicianship. It’s very deft but seems intentionally under-produced to give a garage band effect. Might have worked with original material but falls flat with these covers.
Write it off as a bold experiment. I’m looking forward to sampling more of Grave Robber’s original work, but I hope they’ll steer clear of unimaginative covers henceforth.