Various Artists

The Return of the Living Dead

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Serving as the soundtrack to the horror/comedy of the same name, this offers ten blasts of campy punk rock that may not be essential, but certainly entertains. The Cramps steal the disc with the opening track, the rockabilly boogie "Surfin" Dead." Roky Erickson contributes the hilariously ghoulish "Burn the Flames," a jangly dirge flavored with gothic keyboards and sound effects. Other notable tracks include T.S.O.L.'s angst anthem "Nothing for You," and SSQ's twisted ode to necromancy, "Tonight (We'll Make Love Until We Die)." To the casual observer, this serves as an good introduction to the gothic punk scene that flourished in the mid-'80s underground. But the music is very rooted to the time it was created, and may be disappointing to listeners weaned on the punk explosion led by Green Day in the 1990s.

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