Graveyard Strippers consider themselves to be an industrial metal act from Montreal, Québec. Their new album is a blend of shock rock with an industrial twist, invoking elements of Korn, Nine Inch Nails, Wednesday 13 and Marilyn Manson. No new conceptual ground is covered by these four lads; zombies, a dystopic future, and the undead form a large component of their lyrical content.
Graveyard Strippers have been a very active band since their inception in 2013. They have produced two EPs, three music videos, and have attracted some extremely impressive gigs, including a gig supporting Prong and a Canadian television appearance. The band market themselves and perform in full corpse-paint with associated shock rock regalia. Their website is a comprehensive overview of their very professional marketing and merchandise strategies. Clearly, these four guys are proficient at putting themselves in the right places at the right time.
In terms of music however, there are still a few major pieces to the Graveyard Strippers’ jigsaw missing. Their song-writing is quite bland with very little originality in the lyrical content. The bass and guitar tones rarely pique my interest, remaining compressed and unimaginative for the majority of the album. Vocalist ‘Decay’ has a predictable and weak range of melody choices, and seriously lacks the intensity of genre-mates Al Jourgensen and Trent Reznor or even that of Marilyn Manson. His tendency to mimic other singers also detracts from the integrity of the songs; for example, track seven “Apocalypse Now” has a Jonathon Davis affectation that really drags the quality of the song down.
The shining light in the band are Dany Burton’s contributions. Previously from an outfit known as Projekt F, Burtons drumming and the synthesizers and programming he triggers are a saving grace. The high audio-fidelity of his parts really do add a fullness and depth to an otherwise thin, weedy sounding band. If I were to manage this band, I would definitely advise them to focus on a synthesizer-driven sound and on developing a reliable signal-chain and style for their vocals. Unfortunately, I found the production aesthetic on this album to be extremely scattered and thus, a very confusing factor in the process of listening to Crawling. The disparity between poorly produced vocal sounds and heavily processed guitars is a very odd mix that really distracts the listeners’ ear from the enjoyment of the music itself.
Whilst the marketing, merchandise and professional presentation of Graveyard Strippers is very impressive, the lack of originality, poor creative choices, and clichéd sound was quite a turn off for me. This may be due to my lack of familiarity and exposure to the genre itself and perhaps my preference for the darker, grindcore artery of the industrial music system. If you love overt shock rock then you may dig these guys and see what I can’t. Crawling just really missed its mark for me though.
Written by Scott Andrews
*edited by Kate Erickson