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HMS Music Spotlight

In honour of the Halloween season, we have decided to pick out bands that help celebrate the ghoultide. Once such band that came to my attention recently is VHS and boy do they ever go for the throat and never let go. In fact every song culminates into a bloodbath of gross-out lyrics and death infused thrash riffs that rip out your ear-drums with so much gusto.

So do I have your attention now? I sure hope so because VHS are the new kids on the chopping block, they are Canadian (Hailing from Thunder Bay) and they sure know how to celebrate the horror genre in spades. They also like to sell themselves as “Canadian Horror Metal” and we certainly have no problem with that moniker! I think what sets them apart is how they package this little venture on their bandcamp page with a special offer for free downloading leading up to Halloween. Even better is the unique packaging for the CD; including gross-out cover art from Gruesome Graphix to really help cement their horrific image.

The music though is what truly caught my eye. It’s an EP consisting of 9 tracks just clocking in at a little over 18 minutes and packed so precisely with a bevy of gory sounds/noises. The band’s opening track “Fornicating in the Furniture Store” homages that 80’s horror classic Chopping Mall and I couldn’t be happier with that selection as the lead-off track. The next song “Choke on It” displays a bit of predatory humor with the lyrics, despite being 23 seconds long, but I dig it no matter how short it is.

Then you get hit hard with “Weight Reduction through Terror” and again the lyrics are so clever, but it’s a short song though. We follow this up with “The Tastiest Chilli in Texas” and of course the obvious reference points here are Texas Chainsaw Massacre and maybe Motel Hell. Whichever it is, I am totally onboard for this little ditty. Of course you can’t have a horror metal band that doesn’t celebrate the classics in the genre and the track “When Sleeping Bag meets Tree” erupts - you know exactly who they are referring to. Jason Voorhees will always be revered in cinematic history and the boys do it up right with this song!

Hi-Fi Horror (Uncut Edition)
(Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)
Written by: Kenneth Gallant
9 out of 10

The other short track on the EP is “Radioactive Rat Attack” and what’s not to like about a world ravaged by nuclear holocaust and the few remaining survivors run in fear of the mutated rats hunting them down – fuck yeah! I was then taken by surprise with the opening riff to “Hairspray and Bloodspray” because it sounded like early 80’s Iron Maiden musically, but don’t ever mistake it for just being that. The lyrics are total 80’s horror send-up and obviously this is the crown jewel on the EP for me.

Now of course the add-ons to the CD. First up we get Possessed/Room 36 – total homage to The Exorcist and The Beyond. You can’t go wrong, since both films are pure fucking horror classics as far as I am concerned. I really loved this track and for the slow lumbering quality it exhibits at times, but never forgetting that killing instinct too. I was also jumping for joy when “There Shall Be Nights of Terror” roars into life as the remaining track on the EP. I always enjoyed this early 80’s Italian horror shocker called Burial Ground, so I was glad to hear the song homage of it. Another winner if I may so.

On a whole though, Hi-Fi Horror (Uncut Edition) is a killer project for horror and metal fans. I love bands like VHS who can write clever lyrics based around classic 80’s horror flicks and present it with wicked packaging to immediately grab my attention. There are only three members in the band consisting of Jimmy Laukka (on bass), Andy Middaugh (on drums) and Mike Hochins (on guitar and vocals); all working as a single unit to bang out some of the best horror metal I have heard in a while.

Kenneth Gallant, HMS

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