German horror punk ghouls THE OTHER play catchy, singalong songs somewhere in the vicinity of punk meets gothic rock and metal, with a touch of rockabilly. The MISFITS are a huge inspiration, right down to the makeup and coiffures. THE OTHER were a MISFITS cover band called The Ghouls for three years before forming in 2002.
THE OTHER vocalist Rod Usher is not exactly in the same vocal range as Glenn Danzig, but the sound is obvious within the song structures and arrangements. The MISFITS are THE OTHER's role models, but they also are a little comparable with THE DAMNED, WEDNESDAY 13 and VOLBEAT.
Their fourth release, New Blood, (U.S. release Aug. 30) produced by the multi-talented Waldemar Sorychta, shows a progression and maturity in their songwriting. The songs are quick and punchy, with a horror movie vibe. The lyrics are not just blood and gore, they are phycological and intelligent, in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
The eponymous kick-off song is like a soundtrack to a high-budget slasher film. Its arrangement and tone set the mood for the sharp guitar and dark bass intro to one of the catchiest songs on the album, "Back To The Cemetery." "Here Comes The Darkness" has a catchy melody, even if you're not able to translate the German lyrics. The punk/gothic element shines through on "The Love Sick Mind," with its haunting verse and powerful emotional vocals. "In League With The Devil" is a pure metal riff in the vein of Accept. On "Howling At The Moon," Usher sounds like he's trying to sound like Danzig a little too much.
New Blood is a fun record, full of catchy rhythms and choruses. There's nothing distinctive about its style, but it has a good-natured spookiness. If you can't get past the MISFITS comparisons, however, then you won't like THE OTHER, simple as that.