Dante Vs. Zombies are a group of strapping young chaps and lassies with a romantically delusional outlaw vibe, who “materialized out of thick air in September 2009.”
Hailing from Texas and residing on the Eastern limits of Los Angeles, they have stirred together some beach boy beats and swanky vocals to create a sound I can only name as “Beach Blanket Emo Pop:” However, they chose “Spaghetti Western Jungle Pop Anthems.”
This will be the first full-length album released via Neurotic Yell, titled Buh. This ten-track ball of sunshine and shake worthy tunes is a definite success for this wild southern band who were basically exiled from Austin for just being too badass and starting fights with other bands.
The album itself is just as a aggro as the members themselves. It has a really hip 50s sound that is all surf-pop swing. It goes really well in contrast to the vocals which are total full-throttle emo. Fiery passion pounds out of the musical pulse of this band, it’s happy and silly—like they should be perched on stage at your high school prom, blue tuxedos and all. Not a dull note played, this album really sums up the exuberant angst of youth and twenty-something hipsters everywhere. Throughout, you hear the basic instruments of the rock set (guitar, drums, bass) mixed with the unexpected violin and horns. The overall effect is seductively arrogant, like the boy in the back of the bar undressing you with his eyes while his girlfriend sits on his lap. Smug and super sexy, you find yourself wanting to sulk and gush all at once.
Track one, “Ta-Da,” is catchier then herpes. French-pop fundamentals a la Kinks makes you twist your shoulders and pucker your lips. It’s got a cymbal crash like waves on sand and whiny vocals humming such awesomely manic lyrics such as: “They promised they wouldn’t call the cops/ Until the magic stops/ The seed is planted/ The night’s enchanted/ Your wish is granted/ TA-DA/ We’ve all been bitchy and way too itchy/ For something witchy/ TA-DA.” It’s the spunky and charmingly delinquent lyrics like these that really take the album from normal to awesome. It adds a dark and naughty streak to the bubblegum pink harmonies of the musicality of it all.
Some other gems with equally hipped-out swag and titles follow. My personal favorites are “Horror Stories for Whores,” not only for the killer name, but the swift pulsing road trip melody that carries Adrian Dante’s Devil-may-care message of stubborn love sickness. Clearly this song is a giant fuck you-and I-never-loved-you-anyway anthem to some devilish, doe-eyed temptress who broke Dante’s heart, and its pure gold.
Peppered with pretty pop drums via drummer Jeff Ehrenburg, who lays down the sunny and skin-tingling backdrop, that brings us to he drums. Overall, they’re great, adding the pep to the step of Buh. The whole song is laced with licky, twang-dipped chords that sound like a violent vigilante road trip out of a Quentin Tarantino flick. Equally Tarintino-esque, “Secret Plot” is the song that wet my panties in the first two bars. Bad boy leader of the pack Dante sings, “Will you stand up to me/ Will you huff and puff for me/ Will you get rough with me/ ‘Till you’ve had enough of me.” Oozing that much sexuality, I think we can all find some guilty enjoyment in such scandalous lyrics.
The result of this sexy, 50s soundtrack with modern-day attitude is a truly awesome album here just in time for your summer road trips and beach parties. I find a lot of pleasure in a band that can appeal to both the hopeless romantic and cynical heartbreaker inside of me, at the same time, in the same song.
Words by: Jasmine Richelle Hickle