Tied together by a threatening Lee Van Cleef spaghetti-Western theme, Dead Girls Don't Cry rides the range from clanging Sabbath metal ("Black Wedding") to harsh rockabilly ("Shock Star"). Loaded with death-defying two-part harmony, a well-crafted score, insane drum patter and orgasmic guitar licks, the Danes in Nekromantix have grown fiercer with each release. The progression is so natural that Grand Ole Opry-era country abides comfortably with goth on "A Stone With Your/My Name." "Where Do Monsters Go" is like a drive-in movie narrated by Tom Waits, and humor permeates the music as well as the lyrics: "Do they have a bank account/Do they even pee/Do tears ever fall from a monster's eyes?" That the vilified are merely misunderstood is just one example of a fine idea nicely executed; another is "Backstage Pass to Hell," wherein everyday groupies get more than they bargained for.

The telling cover features three Nosferatus (Nosferati?) with cartoonish pompadours, an appropriate blend of creepy and kooky that recalls '80s pop-funkster Cameo. Our Hamlets of psychobilly could have stuck close to the Cramps/Damned formula and done quite well; instead, they've expanded into all realms of campy darkness, with a frenetic sound that stands alone under the shadow of the hangin' tree.


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