Southern Culture on the Skids


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Southern Culture on the Skids pay enthusiastic homage to zombies, vampires, swamp monsters, and other assorted beasties known to haunt rural drive-ins and the shelves of cut-rate video stores on Zombified, a collection of horror-themed tunes which adds a tone of tongue-in-cheek menace to the band's trademark, twangy thunder. Musically, Zombified plays to SCOTS' strengths, with the emphasis on Rick Miller's fleet-fingered guitar work, as bassist Mary Huff and drummer Dave Hartman lay down a solid beat behind him, but with an extra portion of minor-key menace in the melodies, and the spook show thematics that dominate the lyrics make for a nice change of pace from the band's usual obsession with the seedy side of Southern life. SCOTS also dip their toes into West Indian sounds on "Bloodsucker," and they tighten up with an inspired instrumental cover of Credence Clearwater Revival's "Sinister Purpose," which proves to be a great showcase for Miller's guitar work and Chris Bess' keyboards (SCOTS version of Kip Tyler's "She's My Witch" is similarly impressive). Coming from a band that often seems likely to turn into a novelty act, Zombified doesn't exactly take this band in a more serious direction, but it is a genuine change of pace and the band takes to these songs like an undead duck to brackish water; if you're looking for the right sounds for your next Halloween party, this should fill the bill with screams to spare.

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