Psychobilly/horror-rock band the HorrorPops rolled into New York City to play the Blender Theater at Grammery last night with the Cute Lepers and the Pink Spiders opening up. I have been a big fan of the Horror Pops since they were still a band from Denmark and it was impossible to find their first album in the States. So, I had high expectations for this show: and the trio did not disappoint.
Surprisingly, the crowd was pretty diverse, filled with rockers, punks, Goths, jocks and “normals,” in addition to the rockabilly crew that is the typical fan of bands like the HorrorPops. I was completely surprised at the huge turnout for this band that I discovered on the Internet 4 years ago – I still envisioned them as a pretty small band. They hit the stage promptly at 10pm, lead by Patricia and her trademark white bass with skulls, red diamonds and jesters, and tore through songs from all 3 of their albums, Bring It On!, Hell Yeah! and the newest one, Kiss Kiss Kill Kill. They were also joined by 2 “corpse brides” who had choreographed dance routines to every song. For just over an hour it was a HorrorPops sing-a-long (even the jocks and normals) to songs like, “Trapped,” “Girl In A Cage,” “Kool Flattop,” “Freaks in Uniform,” “Hit’n’ Run,” “Julia,” “Drama Queen,” “Miss Take,” “Where They Wander,” “Baby Lou Tattoo,” “Heading For The Disco,” Copenhagen Refugee,” “Private Hall of Shame,” and the most requested “Walk Like A Zombie.” On their albums they sound like a mix of the Stray Cats, the Misfits, the Cramps and Madness, but in concert they sounded purely pyschobilly. During “Kool Flattop” the band mocked the obligatory stadium rock drum, guitar and bass solos with drummer Neidermeier playing the sampler’s demo track and then playing a few standard rock beats, followed by guitar player Nekroman grabbing the upright bass and seemingly jumping around the fretboard randomly picking notes and sliding around the neck and licking the strings. The “solos” were finished up with Jessica taking back the bass and making lots of slapping noises before returning to the song. An excellent, fun set!
The opening bands were very good, as well, making for an excellent concert overall. The Cute Lepers played a short set of 70s influenced pop-punk that was totally not like any of the Warped Tour bands. It was nice to hear a new punk band with pop influences that aren’t emo! I mean, I like emo as much as the next guy, (well actually, more. People my age HATE emo.) but enough whinin, already. The band looking like the were extras in the TV show Square Pegs, added a nice touch by having 2 female background singers, looking like they were also out of the 80s in slinky black dresses with bright pink earrings.
The Pink Spiders, looking very much like the Ramones, started out their set playing some catchy 80s influence pop-punk, but quickly devolved into the Warped Tour emo sound. They didn’t play anything memorable, but they played well and were very tight. One thing, though, the Lepers and the Spiders were screwed over by the 4, yes four “sound men” who apparently didn’t know that you need to hear the guitars in a rock show. During the Lepers’ set only the vocals and drums were in the PA, and during the Spider’s set the lead guitar wasn’t in the PA. There were 4 guys at the sound board just hanging around bullshitting, and not doing sound, making the 2 openers sound horrible.