Scuttle left, scuttle right, scuttle left, scuttle right, attack! Those words can mean only one thing.
That’s right. Bloodstock conquering parody metal kings Evil Scarecrow are back with their long awaited new album.
Ask ten thousand people stood in a field in Derbyshire at eleven in the morning impersonating crustaceans what they think of Evil Scarecrow and all you’re likely to get as an answer is a demented grin and knocked over in the melee. The Nottingham black metal absurdists must be one of the finest unsigned live acts around at the moment, so good they rivalled this years Bloodstock headliners in terms of popularity even when much of their audience would have been nursing a festival hangover. The thing is though, can a band that good live condense all that energy and idiocy into a recording?
The answer is yes, but not in the way you might imagine. In reality any live performance will have a vastly different dynamic to what you get through your headphones walking to work, or the pub. With Galactic Hunt all the buffoonery and silliness fans are used to between the songs is obviously missing but the songs themselves stand up in their own right. The real trick to Evil Scarecrow is that if you took away the bonkers stuff they’d still be a bloody good black metal band playing it straight. Frighteningly good in fact. Fans know this, that’s why so many turned out to see them this summer. They might be hilarious, but they’re damn fine musicians too.
You can hear this early on with Rise which pummels away at your brain just as well as anything Norway’s darkest has ever had to offer. Of course the mighty Crabulon takes pride of place with it’s instantly crowd pleasing moves although if I’m going to be honest it doesn’t translate that well to the digital format. This is a song that you somehow need the band themselves to make it work properly, and preferably a field full of like minded metalheads. Tucked away at the back though, there is a little gem. An homage to a now defunct childrens TV series Enter The Knightmare with it’s sound bites and straight up metal action is a killer way to finish things off. It begs you to hit the play button again and should prove to be a live favourite too.
Galactic Hunt does everything it sets out to do, it allows you to listen to Evil Scarecrow at home or on the move and imagine you are seeing them live. Thanks to some top quality production from master sound man Russ Russell it has the feel of a big budget major label production even though it comes from a band who are as yet unsigned. Once or twice it flaps around a little when the usually solid marriage of serious and funny start to bicker, Dance Of The Cyclops springs to mind. Most of the time though it simply shows what a unique bunch of little treasures Evil Scarecrow are.
Galactic Hunt slaps a kipper in the face of the beige and the bland proving you can do metal and laugh and still be respected.