Tributee: The Groovie Ghoulies.
Personnel: Kepi Ghoulie (vocals); Gwendolyn Giles, Lucy Giles, Ox Accelerator (vocals); Simon Baken (guitar); Erk (drums).
Recording information: Moon Studio, Sacramento, CA; West Side Aight, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
As part of his campaign to blanket the earth with solo records, collaborations, and reissues, Kepi Ghoulie, the leader of the sadly defunct punk legends Groovie Ghoulies, turned to his pals the Accelerators to help him update the Ghoulies' 1999 album Fun in the Dark. The punk revivalists from Holland backed Kepi on a 2013 European tour and grew increasingly familiar with the Ghoulies' songs, something that comes through on the 2015 version of the album. It's a reverent revamp, not a teardown, and apart from some increased fidelity and a slightly more advanced degree of skill with their instruments, the Accelerators don't do much to change anything. They just sound more supercharged and tight than the 1999 recordings, giving the brilliantly smart and silly songs a swift kick into the modern age. (Not that they really needed it.) Kepi sounds exactly the same; time hasn't done anything to erode his happy-go-punky vocal style one bit. He sounds as happy to be singing about monkey flu outbreaks, vampires, and traveling to the moon as ever. The Sacramento duo Dog Party also join in on some cute backing vocals, and the record is fun from beginning to end. Is it necessary for anyone but the most rabid Ghoulies fans to check out? Probably not, though you'd be hard-pressed to find any poppy punk this fun and fresh from a new band. So maybe it is necessary after all. Might as well buy this and the original album, and probably everything Kepi has done or will do, too, since everything he puts his name on is worth hearing if you like your punk sunny and your songs funny. ~ Tim Sendra