Romancing the Bones

Danish psychobilly band Nekromantix lampoons America with twangy satire

Of course, Kristian Sandorff's granite drums and Nekroman's thunderous slap-bass don't hurt, either. But in the case of "Trick or Treat," Nekroman's lyrics, walking a fine line between cute and horrific, are what make it an instant Halloween staple. "Trick, trick, trick-or-treat / Open up your door and give me what I need / Thrill, kill, Halloween / I'll show you something that you've never seen," he sings in his crackling sneer.

In all, Return of the Loving Dead's 13 tracks are the sound of a power trio in uninhibited motion. You might expect a typical band to pull out all the bells and whistles and overdubs for its American debut, but Nekromantix has made its sixth LP even rawer than previous efforts. "I would say we were more impulsive," says Nekroman. "We tried to keep it simple and record it as fast as possible, not creating too many errors, but keeping that kind of live energy on tape."

This down-to-earth ethic is what's most unique about Nekromantix. Sure, they make a graveyard-stompin' spectacle on stage, and their music could summon spooks and hellfire, but it's an honest, rootsy blend that's resolutely of this world.

Filling the Danish: Nekromantix unleashes its psychobilly.
Bo Willy Zachariasen
Filling the Danish: Nekromantix unleashes its psychobilly.

Asked if he felt "different" as a teenager -- alienation being the perennial certificate of authenticity of all unusual young men -- Nekroman cracks up for about a minute. "I guess so, it seems like it," he says, sounding as if he'd honestly never thought about it.

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