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The Red Eyeballers - "Blood From A Stone" EP review

A man yells from a dungeon underneath our location. What does he say? Who knows? His face has been melted by science. I present to you, the Red Eyeballers who describe themselves as “Lo-fi, high energy merriment from the deep basement. Obscure 50s rock, pre-1970s Halloween music, and pre-rock country mixed together to make, well, to make something”. Once you listen to these songs, I’m sure that you will agree with them. I do.

The cover is a very tall order. It's a clipping from, what looks like, a newspaper proclaiming performances in Village Park by Pioneer Records, Point-Park's record label. It's a very tall image with some messy edits. I don't like it very much, though I think it's cool to use found objects in a creative way for art. This one is just sort of there in an odd size and with uninteresting, MS Paint style editing.

The first track on Blood From A Stone is a version of the folk song, “Big Rock Candy Mountain”. The song was first recorded by Henry McClintock in 1928 and supposedly written by him in 1895, but there is speculation that elements of the song existed before that. Unlock the quiet, acoustic recording from over 90 years ago, The Red Eyeballers have gone full speed into ramshackle, greasy punk glory. It’s so rickety, and the vocals are almost inaudible after the first few seconds. This is a hobo song about finding a surreal paradise, so it fits together pretty well. Next, there’s a cover of Bobby Pickett’s “Monster Mash”, the classic Halloween novelty song from 1962. The Redeyeballers is a live and lo-fi, with vocals buried with the undead. It’s endearing to hear the cheery song done so honestly, retaining its doo-wop and rock ‘n’ roll spirit in a scratchy, amateur way. The final track on what would be the first side is the Eyeballers version of The Misfits’ “I Turned Into a Martian” from the classic Walk Among Us. I don’t love the Misfits, and this cover sounds really silly too with a really goofy organ.

The second side of Blood From A Stone begins with something nearly unidentifiable that becomes shaped almost like the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! theme song. It’s pretty wild and awesome. I really like the sound once it gets in the groove. It’s another that goes into unhinged garage punk lands beyond Thunderdome. “Riboflavin-Flavored, Non-Carbonated, Polyunsaturated Blood“ is a song that I am not particularly familiar with, only having heard it a few times. It was famously covered by 45 Grave but originally recorded by the humorously named Don Hinson And The Rigormorticians in the 1960s. This version is more nasty with the blood getting everywhere, sonically. The singing is still buried but does peak its head out of the grave in a campy costume. Finally, we have “A-Bomb Boogie”, a psychobilly song by Batmobile, followed by Stephen Foster’s “Oh! Susanna” and “Camptown Races”. I didn’t know the first one at all, and the Stephen Foster stuff was a little too silly and messy. I didn’t really like this track that much. Part of the appeal of these tracks was hearing songs I know, especially novelty songs, in a messed up no-budget, garage whirlwind. The earlier songs fit a special way that this track lacks.
The Red Eyeballers are surely an interesting band of misfits and have produced a very fun and weird EP with Blood From A Stone. As much as I enjoy the recklessness of the recording, I do wish the production was a bit clearer. The tracks are way trebly with loud drums and nearly inaudible vocals. Still, I like the sheer boldness of the EP, and I did enjoy listening to it. Sorry to audiofiles everywhere, but Blood From A Stone receives a Good.