Hey there, it’s the Raucous Rocker. Today I am going to discuss two bands that were completely different than I expected them to be. That’s one of the cool things about underground bands; you are never quite sure what you’re going to find. Big popular bands always seem to stick to the same formula and although they generally have their own trademark sound, it gets old after a while. I’ve never really heard anything like these two bands and although neither of them would make it into my top ten favorite bands, they are both a lot of fun and definitely remind you of how crazy the underground metal world can be.
Dance Club Massacre
I had incredibly low expectations for this first band because I found out about it while researching the infamous Preschool Tea Party Massacre and band which I did not care for much at all. Any band with the word “massacre” in it immediately makes me think of low-quality guitar breakdowns while some kid high on sugar screams into the microphone. It’s just like how any movie with the word “massacre” in it makes me immediately think of some low budget slasher film that contains a gratuitous amount of gore, and more likely than not a stupid girl who for some reason finds herself unable to keep her top on. Anyway, Dance Club Massacre was a band I was sure was just another generic ‘core band, but boy was I wrong. Granted, it’s still a ‘core band, but they added another element into the picture: cheesy keyboards! And unfortunately I happen to be a sucker for cheesy keyboards, so of course I had to listen to these guys.
Now before you go thinking that I’m in love with this band, let me just clarify something; the keyboards are the only good part about this entire band. The vocalist is incredibly annoying and reminds me of vocalists like Dani Filth and that guy from Dr. Acula; not only are they annoying, they just won’t shut up. Every time you think they’re done and they’re going to let the rest of the band shine for a bit, they’re back and proceeding to assault your auditory senses with their so-called “singing.” Likewise, the “metal” instruments are pretty laid back; no one really shows off, and they just play simple riffs and breakdowns. The keyboard is where this band saves itself, and although it’s incredibly cheesy, it’s the good kind of cheese. The band describes their genre as “Halloween-core,” and that’s what it is; some of the songs could possibly in a soundtrack to a goofy horror movie. “Return of the Blood Monsters” is just a two-and-a-half minute long keyboard solo and it’s one of the funniest tracks I’ve heard in awhile. In conclusion, if you like cheese, check them out, if not, pass them by.
Le Grand Guignol
This band is also a lot of fun, but unlike Dance Club Massacre, they’re good in every aspect: vocals, guitars, keyboards, everything. It’s another one of those weird avant-garde deals, but those usually turn out well, and this band is no exception. Everything is insane and yet very intelligently put together at the same time. This is easy to see throughout the band’s single album, The Great Maddening. When I first heard of this band, I wasn’t really sure what to think; but after reading comments and reviews about it, I thought it was going to be an Arcturus rip off. Let me tell you, it’s not, and in my humble opinion, it’s better than Arcturus.
The vocals are clearer and more varied, the music changes from black metal-like shredding to a melodic, piano-driven riff in seconds, and you never get bored listening to it because of how often it changes. The guitar(s), drums and bass are nothing exceptional, but they are passable; the vocalist is pretty good, although his high pitched shrieks have a tendency to become annoying, especially on the track “Madness and Her Thousand Young.” Finally, the keyboardist is one of the best keyboardists I have heard in underground metal; he is easily good enough to make it into a mainstream band. There are a few guitar solos in the album, but they aren’t that impressive and are mostly just there to provide atmosphere and variety.
So there you have it: two bands that were completely different than I expected, and ended up being quite a treat to listen to. As with a lot of bands I like, they are both laden with keyboards, so if you’re not into keyboards, don’t bother. If you’re looking for something different and exciting, however, check them out. You won’t be disappointed.