The Grave Surfers' debut record, Necronomicon Phenomenon, is the latest concept album from the mind of Richard Nolan, whose other musical credits include Beware! The Other Head of Science, Parwana, Desperately Obvious, The Boston Celtics, and more. But unlike any of his other projects, Nolan's latest combines a kooky mix of surf-pop riffs with blithely morbid lyrics, all conducted with an energy that's youthful, fun, and -- despite its subject matter -- lively.
With titles as pun-infused as these (Sid and Necromancy, Necromancing the Stone, Necrological Disaster, etc.), these tracks aren't likely to be confused with the somber drudgery one might expect of a whole album dedicated to death (and, granted, surfing). Neverthless, through the carefree surfer's sort of joy that's palpable in each track, it's easy to stumble into Nolan's signature wit and trip headlong into a wave of undeniable sincerity that's no less profound for all its silliness.
Completed entirely during Record Producing Month, Necronomicon Phenomenon is an awesome feat. The Grave Surfers deserves a listen not only because it's the latest project from a skilled musician, but also because it stands alone, making evident its own value as a spectacle that is at once hilarious, surprising, illuminating, and impressive, like a skeleton barreling out of some tubular swell.
released March 1, 2011
Richard Nolan Jr., Ashleigh Ellis
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