Tunes from the Crypt

Here at Recess, we get a lot of CDs in the mail. Some are good, some are bad and some just scare the piss out of us. To spare our readers and ourselves the torture of reviewing Norwegian death metal bands, we add them to the dusty stacks-o-crap against the office wall. There they sit, confined to their own special category of spiked-bracelet-wearing and pagan-beast-battling satanic suckiness. But this week, in honor of our favorite holiday, the music editors of Recess decided to dust off the cobwebs and unleash the hounds of hell so that you too may know the horrors that reside in the Recess rejects pile. So hide your Hanson and put away your DMB--we're going over to the dark side.

THOR Thunderstruck Tales from the Equinox

Speaking of Thor, the big, bad god of thunder himself, headlines this group. Fresh out of the `80s hair band "has-beens who never were" mold, the floppy-mopped rockers of THOR take their love of all things mythological a bit too far. They also seem to enjoy yelling, so combining the two is the next logical step. As the band wails, "Give me a weapon of power/ which no one else may hold/ defend the Gods with honor/ to lead the brave and bold/ bequeathed to me by Odin/ molded by the dwarves/ MINE! this shimmering mallet/ the symbol of the Norse." Most THOR fans aren't aware of his lesser-known, but critically acclaimed side project, "THOR and the Ass Boys," whose first single, "Shit the Pants," caused the more discriminating listeners to do just that. But the scariest THOR trivia of all is the North Carolina connection. In the liner notes, the band gives thanks and pagan worship to Chapel Hill's very own WXYC, as well as to several other N.C. joints. Perhaps they'll be playing the Cradle soon? We can only hope.

Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force War to End All Wars

From the looks of the album cover, you'd think Yngwie spends his spare time jousting with the undead. But according to the Maestro's website, his wily antics run more along the lines of riding his motorbike through the halls of his high school in Sweden at just 15. And you thought the Swedes were pansies! Yngwie was born around the same time the Beatles made it big in the States, but, according to his bio, "it would be another 20 years before a lanky, tousel-haired Swede with hungry eyes would stand the music world on its head once again." Of course. First there was Lennon, and then there was Yngwie. Besides being Sweden's answer to the Beatles, he's also a reincarnation of Hendrix, with his website claiming "The day Jimi Hendrix died, the guitar-playing Yngwie was born." Not to mention a lyrical genius. On "Prophet of Doom," Mr. Malmsteen proclaims, "Prophet of doom/ hear the thunder/ Thor's wonder/ of doom of doom of doom of doom of doom of doom of doom." You get the idea-it's all about doom. And Thor.

Molly Hatchet Kingdom of XII

A Southern-fried scare 20 years in the making, the members of Molly Hatchet are still masters of the mullet... and down-home country-roots rock. Judging from the artwork, everyone is workin' the steel-clad Norse warrior vibe. Maybe Molly just never got over its fixation with the Masters of the Universe, or maybe the sweaty, ripple-chested war god look is coming back. Who knows? Despite the He-Man vs. Skeletor scene adorning the cover, Molly Hatchet is less concerned with Armageddon or the final showdown against evil than a certain little north/south skirmish that took place about 150 years ago. The band's message to the world: "The South has risen again!!" With hits like "Cornbread Mafia" and "Angel in Dixie," it's easy to see who's calling the shots and keeping the rednecks rockin'. It ain't your average skull-and-bones-slaughter show, but it ain't pretty either.

Betty Blowtorch Are You Man Enough?

Although the fiery robo-slut on the cover isn't all that scary, the girls of Betty Blowtorch take the prize for "Band Most Likely to Make Small Children Cry". And it's not because of their heart-wrenching lyrics. One look at the wrinkly, tattooed foursome, which includes Bianca Butthole, Sharon Needles, Blare N. Bitch and Judy Molish, was enough to make us scream for mommy. Self-promoted as groupie whores "who will fix your car and then hump you on top of it," these girls look they got kicked out of a Motley Crüe video shoot for being too slutty. Inside the liner notes, the girls reveal their secret fantasies: For Ms. Butthole, it's "Steven Tyler's big lips wrapped around my bowl of cherries" while Judy Molish dreams of "showering in the golden waters of Brett Favre." And if you think that's disgusting, "Size Queen" features Vanilla Ice rapping explicitly about how large and white his phallus is. Hold us while we cry.


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