Take a big helping of zombies, werewolves, hot rods and mix. Add a healthy dose of The Ventures, and you have some of the ingredients in Dawn Of Demoni, the latest from psycho-surf maniacs Demoni. This is a fiercely ghoulish set of tunes, best described by the title of one of their instrumentals: “Spy Zombies At The Beach.”
Demoni are a ferocious three-piece band, featuring Andy A. on guitars and vocals, Bruce The Terrible on drums, and Wayward Wayne on upright bass. I have a feeling Wayne plays upright bass just so that his huge upside-down cross is visible from the cheap seats. In any case, Demoni’s merciless blend of garage/punk/surf/you-name-it music is some of the coolest stuff to crawl up from the underground in a while.
Dawn Of Demoni opens with “Zombie Jesus,” featuring some of the fastest drumming on record, and just never lets up. The lyrics are pretty funny too: “Zombie Jesus coming back, he died for your sins, now he’s after your brains.” Blasphemy never sounded so good.
The band clearly loves the classic instrumental surf music of the early 1960s, such as Dick Dale, The Surfaris, and The Chantays. But they go all in with The Ventures, covering “War Of The Satellites” from the classic 1964 album Ventures In Space album.
Of the 21 (!) tracks on Dawn Of Demoni, five are instrumentals, and all of them are up to the standards set by their Ventures tribute. My personal favorite is “Defcon 4,” a reverb-soaked vision of apocalyptic hot-rod glory. I could definitely see Ratfink jamming to this one at the drag strip.
Besides all of the cool instrumental nods, Demoni are way into horror movies. There are song tributes to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Night Of The Living Dead, The Fly, Halloween, and Evil Dead on Dawn Of Demoni. The title of the disc itself is a nod to George Romero’s classic Dawn Of The Dead.
The maraschino cherry on top of this crazed amalgam of a record is a cover of “I Need A Fix” from The Dehumanizer’s excellent 1987 album, End Of Time.
Very few bands have been able to pull off credible revivals of the classic early Sixties surf sound, but Demoni are a group who excel at it. Dawn Of Demoni is an impressive record, with a mix of references as cool as they get.