Groovie Ghoulies

Like a two-headed Hydra made of spare Ramones and Cramps parts left over in the lab, the Groovie Ghoulies decree that every day is Halloween and make every stage their own personal (albeit cheerful) abattoir. Spawned on the shadowy streets of Sacramento, the threesome is celebrating a new album on a new label (Go! Stories appears on the Stardumb imprint after many years with Lookout! Records, whose Ramones-soundalike roster is impressive--Green Day, the Ghoulies and the Riverdales have all called it home) by taking its show on the road. Guitarist Roach fires off straight-ahead, sugary rock-and-roll crunch like a foot soldier in Johnny Ramone's army. (In a perfect world, she'd hook up with that other notable rock insect, Flea, but no--she's already married to Ghoulies singer Kepi, whose macabre personal vision informs the band's world of fiends and feedback, poltergeists and power chords.) Their 2000 travelogue, "Travels With My Amp," was a perfect punch of perverse yet appealingly innocent Americana ("The Highwayman" is a succinct, delightfully catchy ode to the country's byways), and the band's live shows are wildly energetic. With lyrics such as, "Skulls hangin' off my Christmas tree/Blood drippin' off my Easter bunny" (from the hilarious Bo Diddley homage "My Car" from 1994's Born in the Basement), the Ghoulies will shock you while they rock you.