We’ve got quite the treat for you on this All Hallows’ Eve in the form of a King-Size premiere of the new Berwanger album, Exorcism Rock. Like the name suggests, Exorcism Rock is on theme in terms of Halloween, but the record is also so much more than the title would have you believe. With songs touching upon a number of genres and styles, Exorcism Rock is a walk through rock and roll’s long history into its unknown future.
“De Vocis Desertores Angeli” opens Exorcism Rock and it delivers on its title’s spooky Latin promise. To be fair, I don’t speak Latin or really know if the title itself is in Latin, but it nevertheless sets an otherworldly scene with echoing voices and tones piercing through the ether, reaching out from beyond. After the brief opener, “Exorcism Rock” kicks off the album in earnest with its pristine distortion, classic vocal harmonies, and a grand power pop chorus. “Rats & Cats” follows that with danceable rock, something that is a trademark of Berwanger, a sort of metal shimmy and shake to go with its sing along intro.
“Booty Shake” follows and while it likely will get many a booty shaking, it’s a country fried rocker with shades of Tom Petty or the Eagles. “Black Sun” opens with a twisty, barbed wire electric guitar riff like something off of an early ‘80s Springsteen record and cruises along with a slithering, seductive verse that winds into a solid pop punk chorus replete with handclaps. “Guess You Weren’t Wrong” is a jaunty, yet wistful look back at a long gone relationship and “I Want You Bad” is a brief burst of urgent rock and roll desire.
“Slutty Skin” is in the same vein as “I Want You Bad” and their pop punk one two punch is followed up by the moody, sleek “Forever” that recalls the Beatles and Badfinger. “Spirit King” is in the realm of Social Distortion with its roots rock take on punk, but it also delves into new shades of instrumentation and structure. Exorcism Rock closes with “Space & Time”, a building power ballad that eventually fades out into the eerie unknown that began the record.
Josh Berwanger has a bit of a treat for us today. (Or is it a trick?) “I wanted to give my ‘not the totally obvious’ top ten favorite Horror Films,” he admitted. So he did. Just for IMPOSE.
1. BRAIN DEAD (1990)
Written by Charles Beaumont (writer for original Twilight Zone and wrote one of my favs The Howling Man) and stars Bud Cort, Bill Paxton and Pullman. Great psychological horror film!
2. IN THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (1984)
A gory fairy tale style horror film with great special effects. This is also a must watch for all hardcore Angela Lansbury fans. Directed by Neil Jordan.
3. SAVAGE WEEKEND (1979)
This movie is terribly great. Early on in the movie one of the actor’s says “what the hell is that?” The first time I saw this scene I thought “the actor is calling out the boom mic you can so obviously see at the top of the screen?” Oh, no, it’s a dead bat nailed to the wall. SW is a trashy-sleezey horror movie brought to you by the one and only Cannon Films. The score is pretty cool also like Goblin meets Deliverance.
4. CLOWNHOUSE (1989)
Starring a young Sam Rockwell, Clownhouse is about 3 escaped mental patients (a radically different idea for a horror film, hmm.) The patients dress up like clowns and terrorize three brothers during Halloween. One of the brothers even pee pees the bed, oh bis!
5. DUNGEONMASTER aka Ragewar (1984)
“A demonic wizard challenges a modern-day computer programmer…” Seems like a genius concept for a movie, right? Well if you don’t like demonic wizards or modern day (1984) computer programmers please at least watch it for the thrilling performance of the song Tormentor by metal supergroup W.A.S.P..
6. DUST DEVIL (1992)
A very atmospheric and sometimes psychedelic movie about the “dust devil” who preys on those who have given up on life. Directed by Richard Stanley. Watch the director’s cut version if you can.
7. SOCIETY (1989)
This movie has one of my favorites lines from a horror movie, “How do you like your tea? Cream sugar? Or do you want me to pee in it?” I thought this would be a good thing to say on a first date once…uh-uh.
8. CRITTERS (1986)
Little alien hedgehog like creatures crash on earth and terrorize a small town. Alien hunters must kill them all. When I first saw this I wanted to be Terrence Mann’s character “Ug” when I grew up, but, I ended up more like Melvin before he was transformed into the Toxic Avenger.
9. SANTA SANGRE (1989)
A film made of dreams and nightmares and is as beautiful as it is violent. I feel this movie goes under the radar a bit considering it was Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Holy Mountain, El Topo).
10. AMERICAN GOTHIC (1988)
Remember the last time you and your group of friends took the ole’ plane out for a vacation and it had engine problems forcing you to emergency land, but you luckily met that insane family that also kills people in the backwoods of absolutely nowhere? Well if you can’t remember doing that check out American Gothic.
11. THE HIDDEN (1987)
A alien/bug/parasite/disgusting creature takes over human bodies and goes on a killing spree it also seems to have the taste for two of my favorite things, fast cars and heavy metal! Also starring Agent Dale Cooper.
Exorcism Rock will be released November 4 on Doghouse Records, but the album is available for pre-order now . You can follow Berwanger on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and on their website at www.berwangermusic.com.