CD Review: Get Haunted - Volume 1 & 2

CD Review by Adam Wujtewicz

Get Haunted Vol. 1 was recorded and co-produced by Bobby Crash and includes Kevin Hodge of Brava Spectre, on slide guitar.  Despite the subject matter of death and monsters, Bobby was able to make these songs sound jumpy and fun. The banjo is distorted and slashing, the drums thump and clip and the slide guitar floats above the whole thing like an angry spirit.  The music is like a snake handler keg party... it’s fun and dangerous and you will never forget it.

Joey’s voice absolutely booms over this spastic junkyard band.  It’s got melody and heft which is not usually a combination you hear anymore.  There may be a little Johnny Cash twang and low end in his delivery but let it never be said that Joey doesn’t have his own style.  The chorus's on this record are what really puts the final nail in the coffin though.  Almost the entire album, especially "1,000’s of Devils" and "Jim", is meant to be shouted along with.  Yeah it might be a strain on your voice and it’s certainly creepy but these are really catchy and easy to sing to choruses.

The charm of the entire record is that it brings us all to the same place.  Most people will tell you that you can interpret music however you want and that’s the beauty of it.  I disagree; I think what makes something great is the ability to make many different people feel the same way.  Get Haunted reminds us why it’s fun to watch horror movies and why we don’t care if we step on each others’ toes or get hit with an elbow when we’re dancing.  It’s just the ability to throw caution to the wind and get caught in a moment that makes us alive.

Get Haunted Vol. 2 is a much more somber and concentrated effort.  Done completely by themselves, except for "Silver Eyes" where Bobby Crash plays drums, Joey and Sarah show you what 2 people that have a passion for each other and music can do on a record.  Vol. 2 has a sort of folk/gospel feel to a few of the songs and it colors the entire album with a sort of supernatural/spiritual feeling.  Not so much like creep show and horror motif on Vol. 1, but a real life 'the-killer’s-outside-your-room-and-he’s-sending-you-to-see-your-lord', sort of way.

This albums' sound is much more reminiscent of the band 16 Horsepower or Them Poor Bastards than O’ Death or Can Kickers... it’s lively, but never overexerts itself.  The production values are the definition of lo-fi.  There is no polish or trickery on the entire CD and if there was it would ruin the atmosphere.  I’ve said this about other recordings that have been purposefully lo-fi but this is the real McCoy.  Not everything clips, but some things do, the distortion doesn’t bleed all over everything, but the tracks weren’t meticulously cleaned up either.  There may be a weird guitar note here and there or an off drum beat but you never lose the feeling. This recording just sounds honest, it’s not trying to be anything more than what it is and that’s refreshing.

If you think everything I’ve described does not sound like the Get Haunted you’re used to... don’t fret... there are still up tempo foot stompers on Vol. 2.  In fact my favorite song on the album, "Jean Jacket Kids", is one of them.  The songs will still get stuck in your head.  "Horses" which has a sound that’s similar to "Earth Angel" if it was sang by a mortician, has been stuck in mine for days.  Sarah even sings a couple tunes on Vol. 2.  "Silver Eyes" and "Falling Stars" are well thought out songs that keep with the somber sound of the record but give the listener something completely new to grasp on to with Sarah’s shy but simultaneously strong voice.  Vol. 2 is still Get Haunted but it’s fleshed out. There is a solid identity to the band and it’s now gone beyond death and monsters.  It’s about people and the things that scare all of us or make us sad or excite us.