Give this to the Graveyard Stompers: the four songs on their new Rise to the Occasion EP are fun and rootsy, in a Here Come the Mummies or Johnny Socko way. Fake scary songs like “Killer’s Touch” and “Dead of the Night” are rendered playful by the gutty and goofy guitars and horn-laden accents.
The Asbury Jukes-sounding horns on the Graveyard Stomper’s “Killer’s Touch” are spectacular. On all the album’s tunes, this song’s campy moments are coupled with rock homages. We love the “Telstar”-ish solo that surfaces.
“Going Commando” is ’50s pop number about (no kidding) an alien eating a woman’s underwear. Likeable and from the female perspective, there’s no heavy lifting required to find the funny. It just is. And a keening trumpet solo doesn’t hurt. “No Remorse” is more gritty, with a Blondie/Go Go power pop via Julie Brown (the one who sang “Homecoming Queen Got A Gun”, not the MTV awful wubba wubba 80s VJ) touch. Like much of the album, the tune and band win when the music roars to the front of the mix, here with a hint of Elvis Costello’s My Aim is True.
“Dead of the Night” is rockabilly, more horns and echoing female background vocals ripped off from the ghosts of the Andrews Sisters.
The EP is good fun – kinda like if Ozzy Osbourne had fronted a nine-piece punk/pop/horn band, circa 1982.
The Graveyard Stompers play at the Witches Ball in Muncie on October 23 and at Indianapolis City Market on October 30