Screaming Dead, the legendary and, in my humble opinion, best horror punk band, who have been around and “giving it large” since the late ’70s, are back with a new album, Ride With The Dead and from the echoes in the underground that have been catching my ear, I can say that already, it’s been causing a bit of a stir, to say the least.
Screaming Dead – Ride With The Dead (Independent)
Release Date: Out now
Words: Jools Green
“It’s been three years in the planning,” vocalist Sam Bignall told me. “The pandemic totally screwed us all over. We chose the title as it was a song we were working on, but only decided to use a snippet of the song as an intro and outro. The name seemed a natural progression from our previous two album releases, Bring Out Your Dead and Death Rides Out.
“We all felt the time was right to follow up our Resurrection EP with a new album, even if it is later than we had originally hoped. Judging by the many comments from people who’ve purchased the album, it appears to be a winner! Many people have stated it’s our best work ever!”
I agree with that statement. It’s a superb listen. Multiple decades since the band’s inception, they are still definitely at the top of their game. They have also called in the services of Pete Newdeck once again as a producer because, as Sam also said, “He’s an Incredible engineer.”
Ride With The Dead delivers eleven well-crafted tracks spanning thirty-seven minutes, all delivered with great clarity of lyrical content along with well-varied intonation to the delivery. It’s very up-tempo in style, with songs that are catchy as hell from one end of the album to the other and packed with great melodies and riffs along with a superb balance of feel-good factors but with a subtle touch of the sinister.
If you love one track, you’ll love the lot. Such is the solid consistency of this material, I can’t fault anything on this album.
The album opens with that intro snippet from the title inspiration track, Ride With The Dead, incorporated into a radio transmission soundbite. This adds a very creative touch before merging into Pretty Mess which has a great repeat riff. God Of Love is a hugely engaging number with a sexy groove coursing through.
Resurrection follows, with the great line, “The screaming dead are rising again.” A track that’s sure to stand as a great Horror Punk anthem. Damned Generation has some utterly sublime midpoint leadwork, while Angel Of Death delivers an energising burst, particularly midway through.
Next up is Tower Of Babel, which has a hugely engaging repeat chorus and melody and then War Cry, a driving beast with a catchy d-beat. The emotive Waiting For You is a punchy number with a haunting chorus. “I’m still waiting for you,” a love song of sorts with a melancholic edge to the leadwork.
The album takes a punkier turn with the final two pieces, the observationally reflective Stop The World with its catchy riffing and leadwork and Warriors, a groovy driver punctuated with sharp, catchy riffs and sharp leadwork. This fades out on a final blast of the chorus part of Ride With The Dead (outro), tying the album neatly together.
Ride With The Dead is a hugely enjoyable and engaging listen. It is currently available either digitally or as CD, but a vinyl version is planned.
The album is out now, but the official launch gig is on 4 June in their hometown of Cheltenham. They are also playing Harrow, London on 9 June and Dublin Castle on 21 July, where it can be purchased direct from the band.
Can’t make the shows, then it is available from Bandcamp.