Bronx Casket Co. Hellectric

In his time off from thrash titans Overkill, bassist D.D. Verni heads up the gothily rocking Bronx Casket Co. with Overkill drummer Tim Mallare, Shotgun Symphony keyboardist Charlie Calv, Metalium/Savatage guitarist Jack Frost, and Misfits vocalist Myke Hideous. Now with two albums wrapped up and on a new label, the BCCo. sound as consistently spooky as they always have. Opener "Little Dead Girl” smacks immediately of Type O Negative, especially in the choruses (reprised later in "Bleed with Me”), but Hideous distances himself from Peter Steele in the following "Everything I Got.” The catchiness continues with the very Faith No More-ish "Dream of Angels,” but the first album highlight is the playful (in a Munsters sort of way) "Sherimoon,” a tribute to actress Sheri Moon, whose voice clips from Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses are sampled here. "Motorcrypt” is faster goth with cartoonish keys, while "Let My People Go” cuts the speed in half for a generous earful of Hideous’ swarthy tenor. Frequent collaborator Mary Jacobsen adds her sultry voice to back up Hideous on "Bleed With Me” then takes the lead on "Mortician’s Lullaby,” an acoustic cut wedged between VAST’s debut and Zebra’s "Who’s Behind the Door?” The pièce de résistance, however, is BCCo.’s creepy, nine-minute reading of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s "Free Bird.” Though it may be connected with the tune’s infamous inclusion in Rob Zombie’s sophomore film The Devil’s Rejects, the band did sample the intro to "Sweet Home Alabama” on their 2001 platter Sweet Home Transylvania. Whatever the case, the cover’s heavenly choir, church organ, and pealing bells are the best reasons to check out Hellectric from Verni and his groovy ghoulies. (Candlelight)