Hayride to Hell mixes punk, rockabilly
June 11, 1998
By CHRIS PAGE
Imagine if Eddie Munster, influenced by a stack of rockabilly records he stole from Marilyn, had started his own band, playing songs devoted to Jack Daniels and werewolves.
You can be sure Eddie's band would sound a lot like Santa Clara act Hayride to Hell.
It's a style best described as psychobilly — a souped-up, punk-inspired callback to rockabilly. But you'll find that most '90s psychobilly bands cite influences like the Stray Cats and Johnny Cash.
But Hayride to Hell takes the style that bands like The Cramps and The Reverend Horton Heat made semi-popular and gives it a gothic twist.
Tonight at 8 p.m. Hayride to Hell brings its horror-show psychobilly to Bakersfield, specifically Park's Place Lounge, 4500 Pierce Road.
Hayride's self-titled CD (on London's Nervous Records) treads on dark and devilish themes, with songs like "Werewolves on Wheels" and "Rockin' Coffin Bar." But Hayride to Hell isn't exactly on the same goth-rock level as, say, Marilyn Manson or Type O Negative.
Rather, the Hayride boys play with tongue firmly in cheek, a la Lookout! Records band The Groovie Ghoulies. Take their tune, "Creature Features," for example. It's a nostalgic tribute to the horror flicks of yesteryear: "There were mummies, werewolves and Frankenstein's Bride/Those stupid humans couldn't even hide."
But horror themes are only a surface-level gimmick. On a deeper level, Hayride to Hell is a flashy act. For one, gravel-throated singer Craig Hart also works an impressive double shift, playing the upright bass with a heavy dose of muscle while belting out those hellbilly lyrics. And drummer Joey Myers delivers tasteful, tempo-smart backgrounds that thicken up the mix.
The Hayride to Hell CD is a rough collection of 14 rockin' tunes, complete with a cover of "The Munsters" TV show theme song and a scrappy version of an already-scrappy Johnny Cash tune, "Don't Take Your Guns to Town."
Also on the bill tonight are The Verdicts (from Long Beach), Buddy's Riot, Guilty Conscience, Fresno group Cattie Ness and The Revenge, plus local acts Runaway Train and Johnny Retched & the Fabulous Martini Brothers.
Bring $6 for the cover charge, and bring some spare dough for drinks — since it's an over-21 show.
Copyright 1998, The Bakersfield Californian