It’s unfortunate that outside of garage rock circles people think two-piece groups consisting of drums, guitar and vocals have copped the line-up idea from The White Stripes or The Black Keys. The truth is two-piece groups go back a lot further than that and have been a fixture of US juke joints since they first opened for business. Not many of those blues duos will have chosen to have dressed like undertakers and knock out rockabilly numbers about witches, werewolves and burials.
That’s were Thee Gravemen come in. Formed a couple of years ago by two English dudes based in Malmo, Sweden, they take their inspiration from Screaming Lord Sutch, The Cramps, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Bo Diddley, Link Wray and any number of gritty blues outfits from the pre-rock ‘n’ roll era. After a string of successful festival appearances and a couple of singles, this is their debut long-player courtesy of the good folks at Dirty Water Records, a label born out of the legendary club night in London’s Tufnell Park.
Over fourteen fear filled tracks drummer Daz Trash and guitarist Lee Tea party like it’s Halloween everyday. Simple two chord garage blues riffs over pounding beats. Sophisticated it ain’t, and that’s the point, it’s stripped down and begging you to come join the boogie. Horror themed rockers such as Diggin’ Graves, Six Feet Down and My Girlfriend Is A Werewolf rub shoulders with more traditional blues-punk tunes.
It’s unlikely to have much crossover appeal but what the hell. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, is good fun, and on top of that the garage rock scene holds its own, is admirably anti-fashion and always seems in pretty good shape in contrast to what’s going on elsewhere in the music scene. Fans of the genre will take them to their hearts.