The Greatest Show Unearthed
Review score: 75%
Review Date: July 2012
Source: Rock Hard Reviews
Sometimes I wonder why I bother with a Last.fm account, but then I remember this album. Since the first band I played to were Kidneythieves I have to wonder how Last.fm ended up here. I don’t remember when I first heard this band, only that ‘Such Horrible Things’ was the first Creature Feature song I listened to. While I’m still not sure how they knew so much about me to write this song, it was so amusing that I went and ‘loved’ every track on their album. I then listened to it on a loop through Youtube playlists until the CD finally came.
While each song is completely different story, the music is sadly similar on every track. Still, if you split them up in a playlist they are a lot of fun, especially in the middle of a lot of heavy metal. The two that really stand out from the rest are ‘A Gory Demise’ and ‘Such Horrible Things’ which have a different formula that leads to a different kind of tune.
Listening to the whole album is like listening to a collection of horror stories, suiting the band’s name. It makes good listening for writing stories to, especially of the horror variety.
Best tracks, hmmm, I’ll just have to go for the ones that have the stories that talk to me:
I might not have read a lot of Edgar Allen Poe, but since The Simpsons Tree House of Horror spoof of ‘The Raven’ I’ve loved that poem. I’m sure most people are vaguely aware of some of his work even without reading it. I know there is one where a guy is bit annoyed by a heart under the floor which explains the heartbeat sound effect.
The music is mostly keyboard and singing. It has a good beat working for it. The lyrics are well written and I’m pretty sure there’s a consistent rhyme to it.
Aim for the Head
I hate zombie films, new ones anyway. They’re always the same: zombie gets hungry, zombie chases the humans, everyone turns into zombies and zombies get hungry. Even so, I’d make this essential listening for anyone with a zombie situation on their hands.
With this song you can hear the slow moving old style zombies walking menacingly towards you. I have the feeling that the news report at the start is from an old zombie film, or at least was made to sound like it. (Editor's note – Old Paul Jack just grumbled something from the back of the office about the 1968 movie Night of the Living Dead being a proper zombie movie, back when zombies used stagger around slowly due to being undead and not just a bunch of infected people who all sprint like athletes)
A Gory Demise
Youtube tells me that it is in A Nightmare Before Christmas, I’d check the movie, but that would take effort and I’m much too lazy for that.
Even so, it’s a funny little song. It’s a little repetitive, but what alphabetical list of obituaries isn’t? It’s well written and the music sounds a bit different from the other songs, which is definitely a plus.
Such Horrible Things
The music on this track is more circus like than the other mashing of keyboards. It’s probably because it sounds like most of it was played with one hand. The song is a list, fairly repetitive, but each event in the narrator’s life is so amusing it’s impossible to get bored. When you get around to ‘when I was fourteen’ there’s a lovely break in formula that makes you wonder "what did this guy do to cause all those screaming sound effects?"
The album art is that beautiful style of childish horror. Funny little skeletons and maggots hang around a creepy grave yard. Sadly, there are no lyrics provided with the retail CD version I reviewed, but they do provide an explanation of each song. Reading them you realise that the artists have watched a lot of old horror films.
You have to break them up with other songs. When played through they tend to blur together, but they are brilliant at breaking up a playlist. Each song tells a unique story and is a lot of fun. Its blend of humour and horror is reminiscent of Shawn of the Dead and similar spoof horror films. It’s impossible not to love them if you listen to the words. You need this album if you are throwing a Halloween party.
Track List (may vary)
- The Greatest Show Unearthed
- Buried Alive
- Aim for the Head
- Six Foot Deep
- A Gorey Demise
- Look to the Skies
- How to Serve Man
- Bound and Gagged
- The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth
- A Corpse in my Bed
- Such Horrible Things